UN to continue interaction with the leaders to help resume Cyprus peace talks

UN to continue interaction with the leaders to help resume Cyprus peace talks


The UN has issued a new corrected version of the “Joint Statement by the Greek Cypriot leader Mr. Nicos Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr. Mustafa Akıncı”, with an additional sentence in the second paragraph.

The full text of the Joint Statement is as follows:

“Tonight, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Mustafa Akıncı, and the Greek Cypriot leader, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, had an open and constructive exchange about the challenges experienced over the last months.

The two leaders reconfirmed their joint commitment to finding a solution in the best interest of all Cypriots, taking into account the concerns of both communities. Furthermore they exchanged ideas about the way ahead.

As the two leaders will be abroad in the coming days, the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General, Mr Espen Barth Eide, will be continuing his interaction with them in order to lay the groundwork for the resumption of the negotiations as soon as possible.”

The statement was issued after a four-hour long dinner, the UN hosted for the two leaders on Sunday night in an effort to resume the stalled peace talks.

President Anastasiades did not make any statement to the press after the dinner. He referred journalists to the Joint Statement.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-backed efforts to reunify the island under a federal roof were suspended when Mustafa Akinci walked out of a meeting in mid February, claiming that a House decision to commemorate, briefly, in school a 1950 referendum advocating union with Greece was in fact a shift in the long standing position of the Greek Cypriot side for a bicommunal, bizonal federal solution in Cyprus.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has described the decision “wrong”, saying the timing was not right. Akinci said he would not return to the negotiations unless the decision is revoked. The House is set to vote on an amendment on the bill, which essentially annuls the earlier House decision, on Friday 7 April.

Earlier the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, are at the Ledra Palace hotel, in the UN-controlled buffer zone, where UN Secretary General`s Special Advisor on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide is hosting a dinner for them in an effort to help resume the stalled peace talks.

The two leaders entered the venue from different entrances.

In the meantime, before the two leaders arrived at Ledra Palace, supporters of a solution had gathered outside the hotel to press on with their demand for a political settlement.

At around 19.00 Eide talked to them and they asked to meet the leaders briefly to hand over a petition.

Eide thanked them for their support in the peace effort and said he would convey their message to the two leaders.

Civil society calls on the leaders to return to talks and achieve a solution the soonest possible

The pro solution rally is backed by the Bicommunal Initiative for Peace – United Cyprus and the initiative “Famagusta – our Town”, and their members are holding banners in Greek and Turkish advocating a solution.

One other banner said “Solution now – 1963 – 1974 – 2017 . Enough – solution now”

Eide, on the occasion of the dinner, wrote on his twitter account: “Looking forward to hosting @AnastasiadesCY & @MustafaAkinci_1 for dinner at Ledra Palace Hotel in #Nicosia tonight. #CyprusTalks”./IBNA