Tsipras, Er­do­gan to talk Cyprus

Two lead­ers will dis­cuss guar­an­tees and se­cu­rity on the con­di­tion that Swiss talks lead to an agree­ment

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras and Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan will re­port­edly meet to dis­cuss the pa­ram­e­ters of post-set­tle­ment se­cu­rity ar­range­ments and guar­an­tees on Cyprus, on the con­di­tion that Cyprus Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades and Turk­ish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Ak­inci come to an agree­ment on the is­sues of ter­ri­tory and prop­erty at re­uni­fi­ca­tion talks in the Swiss re­sort of Mont Pelerin.

The talks, which were ex­pected to cul­mi­nate late last night, would, in the event of an agree­ment, pave the way for a final sum­mit.

The un­der­stand­ing be­tween Athens and Ankara was re­port­edly reached on Fri­day in a phone con­ver­sa­tion be­tween Tsipras and Er­do­gan but, ac­cord­ing to gov­ern­ment sources, there is still a wide gap to bridge be­tween Greece and Turkey over the core is­sue of third-party guar­an­tees to a Cyprus set­tle­ment.

Greece, along with Cyprus, want to scrap what they de­scribe as an anachro­nis­tic sys­tem of guar­an­tees, as the is­land is an EU mem­ber state.

Turkey has in­sisted on keep­ing the guar­an­tees in place. How­ever, gov­ern­ment sources added, Turkey has showed a will­ing­ness to start talks on the mat­ter. Greece, Turkey and the United King­dom were the three guar­an­tor pow­ers of Cyprus af­ter it gained its independence in 1960.

Greek For­eign Min­istry sources have said that a final sum­mit will take place only on the con­di­tion that Anas­tasi­ades and Ak­inci agree on the con­tentious is­sues of prop­erty and ter­ri­tory, and only if the gap is bridged be­tween Tsipras and Er­do­gan on the sys­tem of guar­an­tees.

De­spite be­ing on the same page with re­gard to the de­sired out­come of the ne­go­ti­a­tions on Cyprus, the Greek For­eign Min­istry and the gov­ern­ment have dis­played a marked dif­fer­ence in their tone. Late yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, For­eign Min­istry sources hinted at the neg­a­tive role played by UN Spe­cial Ad­viser Espen Barth Eide and other im­pli­cated par­ties while putting the blame, in the event that talks in Switzer­land break down, on Turkey.

How­ever, it re­port­edly toned down its rhetoric af­ter it be­came ap­par­ent that Turkey ap­peared will­ing to agree to a meet­ing be­tween Tsipras and Er­do­gan. The change in the stance of the For­eign Min­istry sug­gested that the gov­ern­ment be­lieves its tone was far too ag­gres­sive given the cir­cum­stances.

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