The optimism of the first day in Crans-Montana was not confirmed on Thursday, since there were serious objections and disagreements between the two communities that led to a series of consultations and stagnation in the discussions.
The snag in the process of talks on Thursday, according to diplomatic sources, is due to the Turkish side’s insistence on the issue of the four freedoms, which Athens and Nicosia reject, as does the EU. At that point there was an intervention by the EU via the representative of the European Commission and Director General of the Structural Reform Support Service, Maarten Verwey.
Marteen Verwey’s intervention was considered useful by the United Nations, to explain some aspects of the issue of the four freedoms applicable in all EU Member States, on who enjoys these freedoms and how.
During the morning talks, when the issue of the four freedoms was raised, Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiadis reacted by pointing out that this is a matter for Turkish nationals and not Turkish Cypriots, and that he could, if it concerned the Turkish Cypriots, “check his limits.”
There was also no progress yesterday on the issue of security and guarantees, besides the answers given in the morning by the conference participants to the questions raised by the UN Assistant Secretary-General yesterday.
The continuation of the Conference Friday in the presence of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who will arrive via Geneva in Crans Montana in the morning, is expected to be more indicative of intentions, considering that it is not impossible that the Turkish side will make a move on the issue of security and guarantees in the presence of Antonio Guterres.
According to IBNA sources, the prevalent feeling is that one cannot say there is a collapse or deadlock in the talks and that the presence of the UN Secretary-General will play a catalytic role.
As a senior diplomat explained to IBNA, discussions in the presence of Antonio Guterres will force some sides to reveal their cards more and this will be the positive step that the conference needs at this point./IBNA