Second day ‘productive’, says Eide
A senior UN official said he is hopeful of progress and that the second day of direct talks between the island’s two community leaders was ‘productive’.
Dispelling fears that both President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci had a long way to go to overcome a wide divergence on issues, primarily that of the future presidency of a unified federal Cyprus, the UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, described the second day of the UN-led Cyprus talks taking place in Mont-Pelerin, Switzerland, as productive.
Eide posted a photo on twitter of the UN team “wrapping up after a productive second day of Cyprus talks at MontPelerin.”
Intensive talks on the territory issue and all other outstanding issues interdependently began on Monday with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon kicking off the talks that were agreed to be held on neutral ground and without any interferences and are scheduled to be concluded on November 11.
But in separate televised interviews on Friday night, both leaders seemed to have more divergences than convergences, the biggest thorn being that of a rotating presidency that the Turkish Cypriot side wants and the Greek Cypriot side reject outright, while the matter of security and remaining Turkish troops remains unresolved. The number of Turkish settlers who will stay on after a solution is probably set at 100,000, with the ratio for naturalisation after that set at four Greeks for every one Turk.
The Cyprus News Agency reported that some progress was made during the meeting on Tuesday afternoon, however no issue has been closed.
CNA reported that the leaders discussed pending issues related to the four chapters, (governance, EU, economy, property) which are interrelated with the territory issue.
“Some progress was made but no issue has been closed,” a same source was quoted by the CAN as saying.
The two leaders will begin discussing criteria on the territory issue on Wednesday morning and will have to wrap up by late Thursday in order to work on a joint communiqué on Friday.
Discussion on the criteria of the territory issue that will begin on Wednesday morning is considered by the Greek Cypriot side as a crash test for the intentions of the Turkish Cypriot side as regards the negotiations in Switzerland, the same source pointed out.
During their meeting on Tuesday morning, the two sides discussed various aspects of the property issue with a view to prepare Wednesday’ discussion on the criteria for the territory issue.
Meanwhile, negotiators Andreas Mavroyiannis and Ozdil Nami held a meeting on Tuesday afternoon to discuss issues related to property and the issue of the participation in the decision making process at the federal level.
The two leaders met again in the afternoon to discuss about the participation in the decision making process and to continue the discussion on issues they had looked into on Monday afternoon with regard to the EU and the economy. President Anastasiades was accompanied at this meeting by his advisors Polys Polyviou and Kypros Chrysostomides.
During their meeting on Monday afternoon, the two leaders focused on three issues of the four chapters that have been already discussed at the talks, related to governance, the EU and the economy. According to the same sources, the two sides have decided to discuss eight issues of the four chapters’ pending matters that are related to the territory. Four of these issues concern the property chapter.
According to CNA reports there has been some progress, the most important of which concerns the chapter of the economy and more specifically the responsibility of the federal constituent states as regards the fiscal policy of the federal government. However, the issue will be further examined economy.
During Friday night’s television broadcast, Akinci had also told Greek Cypriots “not to worry” about the Turkish Cypriot community’s huge public debt to Turkey.
As regards the EU chapter, the same sources said there was an approach towards an agreement on the economic aspect. The third issue discussed was the participation in the decision making process at the federal level.
On the property issue, the sources noted that a very good first discussion took place particularly on matters related to the territory issue which are discussed for the first time and concern the properties that will belong to each constituent state.
Referring to the discussion of the criteria of the property issue, that will begin on Wednesday and is expected to continue in the afternoon and probably on Thursday as well, they reiterated that for the Greek Cypriot side the most important criterion is the number of the refugees that will be able to return under Greek Cypriot administration, while noted as a second criterion the percentage of each constituent state’s territory.
The same sources reiterated the importance of having an agreement on the criteria that will then be used in order to draw a map. Furthermore, they noted that no location names will be discussed but only the percentage of the territory of each constituent state and that the Greek Cypriot side will not allow for the territory issue to be linked with the issue of security.