Progress in Oc­to­ber will de­ter­mine out­come of talks on ter­ri­to­rial chap­ter, guar­an­tees

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades, de­scribed as pro­duc­tive his meet­ing on Tues­day, with the leader of the Turk­ish Cypriot com­mu­nity, Mustafa Ak­inci, their first in an “in­ten­si­fied process” of ten meet­ings this month.

In his re­marks to re­porters, fol­low­ing his re­turn to the Pres­i­den­tial Palace, the Pres­i­dent said that his meet­ing with Ak­inci was “pro­duc­tive be­cause it gave us the op­por­tu­nity to go through the chap­ters one by one, to look at the ex­ist­ing dif­fer­ences, so that Oc­to­ber will be the month of in­ten­sive de­lib­er­a­tions. And the in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion of the di­a­logue has al­ready been agreed; there will be about nine and pos­si­bly ten meet­ings so that we will achieve the max­i­mum pos­si­ble con­ver­gence on ex­ist­ing dif­fer­ences.” Anas­tasi­ades said that “if, af­ter­wards, there is such progress that will make it fea­si­ble, we will pro­ceed to an­other stage, that of the dis­cus­sion of the fifth chap­ter re­gard­ing the ter­ri­to­rial read­just­ments, with one pos­si­bil­ity that this meet­ing, due to the reser­va­tions and con­cerns of Mr Ak­inci, will take place in an­other coun­try. In such a case, the mem­bers of the Na­tional Coun­cil will be ac­com­pa­ny­ing me so that there will be a di­rect and col­lec­tive ap­proach to the is­sue that we will be ad­dress­ing.”

He added that “if on the ter­ri­to­rial is­sue as well there is progress that will make it fea­si­ble, then pos­si­bly we will pro­ceed to the next stage which will be the con­ven­ing of a mul­ti­lat­eral con­fer­ence that will deal with the is­sues of Guar­an­tees. All these de­pend on the pre­sump­tion that progress is made on what­ever will be dis­cussed.”

Asked whether the is­sue of Se­cu­rity and Guar­an­tees will be dis­cussed in Cyprus as well, the Pres­i­dent said that “a brain­storm­ing can take place but more im­por­tant is the con­cen­tra­tion on the ex­ist­ing dif­fer­ences so that there will be, at the max­i­mum pos­si­ble, con­ver­gences which will al­low us to pro­ceed to the fifth chap­ter (is­sue), and which Prop­erty.”

In­vited to com­ment on Ak­inci’s stance fol­low­ing New York and con­sid­er­ing the re­cent state­ments by the Turk­ish Cypriot leader the Pres­i­dent stated that “I will not com­ment, as I have not com­mented un­til now on any in­ter­views. What I regis­ter is his de­ter­mi­na­tion, based on what I have de­scribed, to jointly pro­ceed in or­der to achieve, if pos­si­ble be­fore the end of 2016, a po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tion, a com­pre­hen­sive so­lu­tion pro­vided that the Turk­ish Cypriot side, but also the Turk­ish side with re­gard to what­ever con­cerns it, will demon­strate the good will which ev­ery­one ex­pects from those who de­clare that they de­sire the fi­nal so­lu­tion to the Cyprus prob­lem.”

In state­ments in Athens later in the day, For­eign Min­is­ter Ioan­nis Ka­soulides said that the peo­ple of Cyprus will judge the fi­nal out­come of the so­lu­tion to the Cyprus prob­lem, if and when it is achieved.

He also said the peo­ple will be urged to that is the is al­ways Ter­ri­to­rial re­lated to de­cide in a re­spon­si­ble man­ner if a so­lu­tion that is pro­posed meets their ex­pec­ta­tions and pri­or­i­ties.

Speak­ing in the Greek cap­i­tal dur­ing an event to mark the in­de­pen­dence of the Repub­lic of Cyprus, Ka­soulides said that one thing is for sure that Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades will not, as he re­peat­edly stated, bring the peo­ple be­fore a so­lu­tion that he does not be­lieve sat­is­fies their ex­pec­ta­tions.

He also said that the only thing that can be pre­sented to the peo­ple is a com­pre­hen­sive so­lu­tion pro­posal that re­sponds to the con­cerns, ex­pec­ta­tions and hopes of Greek Cypri­ots and Turk­ish Cypri­ots and can be im­ple­mented from day one of the agree­ment.

Ka­soulides said the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion, “the sta­tus quo, can­not in any way, be a vi­sion for the fu­ture of our coun­try and I am sure it was not the vi­sion of those who gave their lives for our free­dom”.

He said that time is a fac­tor “that un­for­tu­nately is work­ing against us, and we need to rid of the oc­cu­pa­tion and Turk­ish troops and re­unite our home­land”.

Ka­soulides said ne­go­ti­a­tions are at a crit­i­cal junc­tion and said that if the next meet­ings be­tween Anas­tasi­ades and Ak­inci “yield the re­sults we are an­tic­i­pat­ing, then we will be able to talk with more cer­tainty about a pos­i­tive out­come of this long­stand­ing ne­go­ti­at­ing pro­ce­dure”.

Even though the re­sults of the ne­go­ti­a­tions al­low us to main­tain a re­served op­ti­mism, he said ne­go­ti­a­tions have not con­cluded and if all that has been agreed is not put down on pa­per as con­ver­gences and any­thing else is agreed, then we can­not talk about a so­lu­tion.

Ka­soulides said that suf­fi­cient progress has been achieved on the is­sues of gov­er­nance, econ­omy, the EU and al­though a lot of work has been done on the prop­erty is­sue, is­sues of fun­da­men­tal sig­nif­i­cance are still pend­ing.

He also said that the ter­ri­to­rial is­sue and the is­sue of guar­an­tees re­main open, not­ing the “for­mer is closely as­so­ci­ated with the is­sue of prop­erty and is es­sen­tial to achieve progress on this is­sue if we are to over­come the ob­sta­cles on the prop­erty is­sue”.

Ka­soulides also said that se­cu­rity is the “most im­por­tant el­e­ment, in my opin­ion and will de­ter­mine the suc­cess­ful con­clu­sion of the ne­go­ti­a­tion. Any sys­tem of guar­an­tees agreed, should fully re­spect the con­cerns of both com­mu­ni­ties, he said.

“We be­lieve the se­cu­rity of both com­mu­ni­ties is safe­guarded through a fed­eral state with com­plete re­spect to the po­lit­i­cal equal­ity, its bi­zonal and bi­com­mu­nal na­ture, with unim­peded ex­er­cise of au­thor­ity from the two con­stituent states, the pro­duc­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion of the Turk­ish Cypriot com­mu­nity in de­ci­sion tak­ing at a fed­eral level as well as Cyprus’ mem­ber­ship to the EU”.

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