Lead­ers set agenda for ‘in­ten­si­fied’ talks

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades and Turk­ish Cypriot leader Mustafa Ak­inci kicked off a new round of in­ten­si­fied talks fol­low­ing a brief sum­mer break, agree­ing to meet a fur­ther six times un­til Septem­ber 14 (on 29/8, 31/8, 2, 6, 8 and 14/9).

Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, the two lead­ers, meet­ing for the first time since Ak­inci vis­ited Ankara last week fol­low­ing the failed coup at­tempt, have agreed to put for dis­cus­sion all six chap­ters of ne­go­ti­a­tion, in order to fast-track the process.

The Pres­i­dent, in state­ments to the press af­ter Tues­day’s meet­ing which lasted al­most three hours, said that the Greek Cypriot side does not re­ject the idea of a tri­par­tite meet­ing in New York af­ter the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly, be­tween him­self, the Turk­ish Cypriot leader and the UNSG Ban Ki Moon, given there is suf­fi­cient progress in the peace ne­go­ti­a­tions.

How­ever, UN of­fi­cials had said this would be im­pos­si­ble dur­ing the Gen­eral Assem­bly.

In his state­ments, the Pres­i­dent de­scribed Tues­day’s meet­ing as “quite pro­duc­tive” for the method­ol­ogy that will be fol­lowed in the re­main­ing meet­ings, as well as in­for­ma­tive on is­sues that were de­vel­oped in the re­cent days.

He said that he was in­formed in gen­eral about the re­cent meet­ing be­tween Ak­inci and Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Tayip Er­do­gan, but not in de­tail, ad­ding that from what he un­der­stands, the Turk­ish Pres­i­dent re­it­er­ated his will to con­trib­ute to a Cyprus so­lu­tion, ac­cord­ing to the Cyprus News Agency.

Anas­tasi­ades said that they did not dis­cuss the is­sue of guar­an­tees and what has been pub­lished in the me­dia is just some ideas which were de­vel­oped. He un­der­lined that our pro­pos­als have been formed on the ba­sis of what we have de­clared as the Greek Cypriot side and can­not re­spond to what has been pub­lished on the is­sue of guar­an­tees.

He said that fol­low­ing the in­ten­si­fied round of talks, on Septem­ber 14, the progress that will have been achieved will then be de­ter­mined.

Dur­ing Tues­day’s meet­ing the two lead­ers de­cided the chap­ters that will be dis­cussed in each of the fol­low­ing meet­ings, in­clud­ing the is­sue of prop­er­ties.

Anas­tasi­ades pointed out that as re­gards the ter­ri­to­rial is­sue, they will not par­tic­u­larly re­fer to maps and names, but some cri­te­ria about the ter­ri­to­rial ad­just­ments, as­so­ci­ated with the is­sue of prop­er­ties, will be dis­cussed. He said that the same goes for the is­sues of se­cu­rity and guar­an­tees, un­der­lin­ing that the ba­sic prin­ci­ple on which they both agree is that the se­cu­rity of one side can­not be im­posed as a threat for the other.

The Pres­i­dent said that if there is suf­fi­cient progress that al­lows for a meet­ing in New York or if the UNSG wants, af­ter the Gen­eral Assem­bly, to meet the two lead­ers, “this is not the end of the world or some­thing that is a para­dox­i­cal”. He added that the progress and the course of the in­ten­si­fied talks have to be as­sessed first be­fore such a meet­ing takes place.

Pres­i­dent Anas­tasi­ades was also asked about the visit of the US Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den ti Turkey, say­ing that the US of­fi­cial will dis­cuss the bi­lat­eral re­la­tions, how­ever the Cyprus is­sue will be on the agenda as Bi­den has main­tained an in­ter­est on the mat­ter the last 40 years.

He re­called that re­cently he had a phone con­ver­sa­tion with the US Vice Pres­i­dent and he pointed out to Bi­den what Ankara needs to take into ac­count in order to achieve a so­lu­tion that will be ac­cept­able to both sides.

As re­gards a Con­fer­ence that will take place in Athens on Septem­ber 9 with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the Mediter­ranean EU lead­ers, the Pres­i­dent said that he looks for­wards to a co­op­er­a­tion of the south­ern coun­tries in order to de­velop poli­cies and a more hu­man ap­proach which will be to the in­ter­est of all the Euro­peans.

The UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral’s Spe­cial Ad­viser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide has ex­pressed the point of view that the weeks ahead in the UN bro­kered Cyprus talks are cru­cial.

“Af­ter a brief sum­mer re­cess, in­ten­si­fied Cyprus talks con­tinue in a con­struc­tive spirit,” Eide posted on Twit­ter af­ter the meet­ing on Tues­day.

“Cru­cial weeks ahead,” he added. “The next seven meet­ings will be par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant and will de­ter­mine the way the whole process can go ahead,” Gov­ern­ment Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides has told CNA.

The ob­jec­tive be­tween the two added.

He said that “no so­lu­tion (of the Cyprus prob­lem) could in­clude the pres­ence of for­eign troops.”

He also de­nied that Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades would view in a pos­i­tive light the pos­si­bil­ity of Turkey guar­an­tee­ing the Turk­ish Cypriot com­po­nent state.

Christodoulides was in­vited by CNA to com­ment on a re­port by Turk­ish daily Mil­liyet on a pro­posal by US of­fi­cial Vic­to­ria Nu­land on the es­tab­lish­ment of an in­ter­na­tional gen­darmerie af­ter a so­lu­tion in which Greek and Turk­ish soldiers would be able to par­tic­i­pate.

“No so­lu­tion of the Cyprus prob­lem could stip­u­late the pres­ence of for­eign troops in Cyprus or any in­ter­ven­tion rights for any third coun­try,” he stressed. is to in­crease com­mon un­der­stand­ing sides or even achieve con­ver­gences, he

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