Tsipras out­lines Cyprus ‘red lines’

PM briefed by Anas­tasi­ades on talks, re­it­er­ates call for Turk­ish troop with­drawal

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Ahead of Sun­day’s re­sump­tion of the UN-backed peace talks in Switzer­land, Cyprus Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades briefed Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras in Athens yes­ter­day on the progress so far on the chap­ters re­gard­ing ter­ri­to­rial ad­just­ments and prop­erty, and on the thorny is­sues that re­main open.

The first round of talks be­tween Anas­tasi­ades and Turk­ish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Ak­inci, which ended last week at Mont Pelerin af­ter five days of in­tense ne­go­ti­a­tions fo­cus­ing on the is­sue of ter­ri­tory, were said to have made “sig­nif­i­cant progress,” ac­cord­ing to a brief UN state­ment.

Tsipras said he and Anas­tasi­ades hope and an­tic­i­pate both sides will reach an “un­der­stand­ing” on the cri­te­ria gov­ern­ing ter­ri­to­rial ad­just­ments.

He also in­sisted a set­tle­ment must scrap the “anachro­nis­tic sys­tem of guar­an­tees and se­cure the full with­drawal of Turk­ish troops from the is- land,” say­ing these are red lines for Greece and Cyprus. Anas­tasi­ades echoed the same sen­ti­ment, say­ing Turkey, as a third party, can­not in­sist on main­tain­ing troops in an EU state.

If an agree­ment is reached in Switzer­land, a multi-party sum­mit is ex­pected to be held to fi­nal­ize the deal. This will in­clude the lead­ers of the Greek- and Turk­ish-Cypriot com­mu­ni­ties, as well as Greece, Turkey and the UK – which are Cyprus’s three guar­an­tor pow­ers.

The Cypriot leader’s visit came on the heels of that by out­go­ing US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, who dis­cussed the en­cour­ag­ing prospects of a so­lu­tion to the decades-long dis­pute. He said that a so­lu­tion “won’t pro­vide 100 per­cent of what ei­ther side wants, [and] there may be some mech­a­nisms for a tran­si­tion, from the sta­tus quo to the fu­ture that both sides en­vi­sion, but I think it’s achiev­able.”

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