Anastasiades has very concrete proposals which can facilitate the dialogue, Spokesman says

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has very concrete proposals which can facilitate the dialogue on the Cyprus problem, Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides said after a meeting Anastasiades had on Friday morning with UN Secretary Generals Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide, noting that the President reiterated his proposal for a three column document that will refer to the state of play in all issues discussed at the negotiations and will facilitate the whole process.

Christodoulides said that a very good exchange of views took place during the meeting, and that Anastasiades expressed his regret that the dialogue has been suspended, and at the same time expressed his readiness to continue the negotiations even tomorrow.

He noted that Anastasiades and Eide also discussed issues of substance, about the disagreements at the negotiating table, and how Anastasiades deems that the process can more forward “a targeted process with a view to address the disagreements, the different approaches through a substantive dialogue.”

Invited to say if the governments assessment that there can be no move on the part of Turkey or the Turkish Cypriot side before Aprils referendum in Turkey, has changed after Anastasiades meeting with Eide, the Spokesman said: “To the contrary. The meetings being held, what is happening, the developments enhance this assessment.”

He once again stressed the need for the continuation of the dialogue on the Cyprus problem, noting that any prospects for addressing the existing disagreements will be examined at the negotiating table.

Christodoulides said that there was a significant process at the negotiations, but significant disagreements also exist. “Through this promising process significant work has been produced and we think that it is only at the negotiating table that it is possible to examine if disagreements can be addressed,” he noted, adding that there are significant disagreements and different approaches.

Invited to comment information that Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will attend a dinner, Christodoulides said that President Anastasiades did not walk away from the negotiations so that any proposal will be addressed to him, noting that nothing was proposed to the President.

He reiterated that Anastasiades is ready to attend a meeting in the framework of the talks even tomorrow without putting forward any preconditions.

Invited to say if Eide conveyed any ideas for the return to the negotiating table, the Spokesman expressed the belief that any such thoughts will be conveyed to those who walked away from the negotiating table and not the President Anastasiades.

Asked about the continuation of the Conference on Cyprus, the Spokesman said that this is part of the process and wondered how a date can be determined for its continuation if the Turkish Cypriot side does not return to the negotiating table.

Asked if the government is concerned with the developments in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, the Spokesman said that “we follow developments in the occupied areas and more generally developments in Turkey and we evaluate them,” reiterating Anastasiades wish and will to return to the negotiating table.

Asked if Anastasiades had new meetings with foreign leaders, the Spokesman said that the President will attend the European Council that will take place in Brussels on March 9 and 10.

He added that Anastasiades will also attend the European Peoples Party Summit in Brussels and will have the opportunity to inform his interlocutors on developments in the Cyprus problem, while he will also have separate meetings with the President of the European Commission and the new President of the European Parliament.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Anastasiades and Akinci have been engaged in UN-led talks since May 2015 with an aim to reunify the island under a federal roof.

Akinci walked away from their last meeting, in the framework of the UN-led negotiations on the Cyprus problem, shortly after it began. It was announced that the two leaders had elaborated earlier on their positions as regards an amendment passed by the Cypriot Parliament which includes a once a year discussion of ten minutes in school classrooms about the 1950 referendum held in Cyprus, which favored back then a union (or enosis in the Greek language) with Greece.

President Anastasiades has described the House amendment “wrong” and called on Akinci to return to the negotiating table. Akinci demands that the amendment of the Cypriot Parliament is revoked before returning to the negotiating table.

The Cypriot President recalled the unanimous decision of the National Council where it declared that no one is pursuing “Enosis” or division, noting that “we remain committed to the unanimous decisions of the National Council, the UN resolutions and Security Council decisions for the type of solution that we are working for. This should have been more than satisfactory”.

Source: Cyprus News Agency