Anastasiades hopes negotiations will focus on proposals which do not deviate from the acquis

President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades has expressed hope that during next weeks resumption of the Cyprus peace talks, discussions will concentrate on proposals that do not deviate from the acquis communautaire.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event in Nicosia hosted by the Cyprus Olympic Committee, President Anastasiades said he was satisfied because at long last the dialogue will resume.

The UN announced on Tuesday afternoon that the negotiations for a comprehensive settlement will resume on April 11 after a lull since mid February when the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci walked out of a meeting, claiming that a House decision to commemorate, briefly, in school a 1950 referendum advocating union with Greece was in fact a shift in the long standing position of the Greek Cypriot side for a bicommunal, bizonal federal solution in Cyprus.

President Anastasiades had described the decision “wrong”, saying the timing was not right. Akinci said he would not return to the negotiations unless the decision is revoked. The House is set to vote on an amendment on the bill, which essentially annuls the earlier House decision, on Friday 7 April.

The UN Secretary General Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide hosted a dinner last Sunday for President Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci where the two leaders reconfirmed their joint commitment to finding a solution in the best interest of all Cypriots and exchanged ideas about the way ahead.

“I express satisfaction because at long last the dialogue will resume, with the hope that we will concentrate on proposals that do not deviate from the acquis communautaire but will concentrate on the best interests of the two communities,” the President said.

Asked if he had anticipated a change of heart by Akinci, Anastasiades said that negotiations were taking place, but “in any case, it looks like he (Akinci) was persuaded after his meeting with the UN Secretary General” in Brussels earlier on Tuesday.

Asked if any prerequisites have been set for the resumption of the talks, such as the revoking of the House decision, Anastasiades stressed that this was not a matter for the government but one that concerns the House of Representatives. “And as such, there is no question of preconditions,” he added.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

Source: Cyprus News Agency