Cyprus leaders to meet Thursday
Anastasiades and Akinci set to discuss results of technical advisers’ meetings
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will meet on Thursday in Nicosia to assess the results of meetings held in Switzerland last week by technical teams of the main parties involved in the United Nationsbacked efforts to reunify the island.
Anastasiades said that the political discussion of the proposals submitted at the technical meetings must adhere to the principles out- lined in the statement issued by the UN at the conference last week in Geneva attended by delegates from Greece, Turkey, the UK and the European Union.
Anastasiades said the meetings of the advisers were held to “record” the proposals of both sides, signaling that real progress will only be made at the political level.
According to diplomatic sources, the Turkish side went into the meet- ings without a mind for substantive talks, and remained steadfast in its positions with regard to the system of guarantees and post-settlement security, which remain one of the major obstacles to a deal.
Delegates from Britain – one of the island’s three guarantor powers, along with Greece and Turkey – who took part in the meetings reportedly backed the abolition of the system of guarantees, maintaining, however, British rights to its sovereign bases in southern Cyprus.
Despite the efforts between Athens and Ankara to bridge their differences over Cyprus, relations remain tense, with an adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying in a recent TV interview that “there is no Greece, because Prime Minister [Alexis] Tsipras has sold it, turning the Greeks into slaves.”