Nicosia, January 21, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
The UN Secretary General now has a clear picture about the UN-led peace talks taking place in Cyprus, said Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides on Thursday, in statements after a meeting between the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci with the head of the international organization, Ban Ki-moon, in Davos.
“The results of the discussion and the dialogue that took place justify absolutely the necessity for holding this meeting between the UN SG and the leaders of the two communities”, he said.
Earlier on, President Anastasiades had a meeting with US Vice President Joe Biden, with Christodoulides saying that Biden is expected to convey “concrete messages” from the President of Cyprus to Turkish officials in Ankara, where he is traveling next. The issue of guarantees is expected to be included among these topics, he said.
According to an official announcement, asked about the meeting with the UN SG, the Government Spokesman replied that Ban now has a better overview of what is really happening at the negotiating table, is better informed about which issues the two sides have an understanding and where they disagree, as well as which topics they have not touched upon yet.
“Therefore, we believe that the results of this meeting prove how necessary the meeting was,” Christodoulides added.
He also said that no concrete ideas were put forward by Ban at the meeting and underlined that “this is a Cyprus-led process, with both leaders taking the lead”.
Talking about the meeting with Biden, Christodoulides said it was an excellent meeting, during which President Anastasiades thanked the US Vice President for his continuous support.
“The US Vice President reiterated the support of the US and referred to the need a Cyprus solution to reflect the expectations of the Cypriot people” he added.
Moreover, the Government Spokesman said that Biden was expected to travel to the Turkish capital, Ankara, where he will meet this Saturday with Turkish officials and convey very concrete messages to Turkey.
There are important issues being discussed at the negotiating table, on which Turkey needs to make up its mind, he added. According to Christodoulides, Ankara must prove its intention for a Cyprus solution with concrete actions, and “this is something that the US Vice President fully understands”.
Asked which messages Biden was going to convey to Turkey, Christodoulides said they are related to “concrete issues”. On another question, whether the issue of guarantees was among them, he responded by saying “not just this issue”.
The discussion between the two sides was not only limited to the Cyprus issue, but also included security and energy concerns in the Eastern Mediterranean, as attested by the presence of US Deputy Secretary for Energy at the meeting, said Christodoulides.
The Government Spokesman thanked Biden on behalf of President Anastasiades “for his complete understanding of the positions of the President of the Republic and the role Biden plays for enhancing relations between the Republic of Cyprus and the US”.
UN-led talks are currently underway to find a negotiated settlement that would reunite Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion, under a federal roof.