Conference on Cyprus opens on Wednesday in Crans-Montana on security and guarantees chapter

The Conference on Cyprus in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, opens on Wednesday morning with a discussion on the chapter of “Security and Guarantees”, reliable sources have told CNA, which point out that developments in the morning discussions are expected to determine the course of the talks during the week and show whether there is ground for discussion.

On day one of the Conference, there will be a discussion on the chapter of security and guarantees and no parallel discussion on another subject.

The first meeting will take place in the presence of the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, UN Secretary Generals Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide, Foreign Ministers of Greece, Turkey and Britain, Nicos Kotzias, Mevlut Cavusoglu and Boris Johnson respectively and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.

On Wednesday afternoon, a parallel discussion is expected to take place on other topics, with the territorial issue to be the first issue to be discussed, the same sources have said.

The presence of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in Crans-Montana has not yet been confirmed as this will depend on developments.

According to the same sources, at this point there is no departure date for the Foreign Ministers of the three guarantor powers (Greece, Turkey and the UK) which are participating in the Conference.

The Greek Cypriot side goes to Switzerland bearing in mind the fact that the basis for the discussions is the conclusions of January 19 in Mont Pelerin 3 talks, the fact that a very substantive discussion has taken place between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildirim in which security and guarantee issues have been discussed for the first time since 1974, and that Turkey will finally be forced to take a stance on the issue of security and guarantees.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades is accompanied by the Attorney General Costas Clerides, the Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis, Government Spokesman and Director of his Diplomatic Office Nikos Christodoulides, Undersecretary to the President Vasilis Palmas, Deputy Government Spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos and other officials.

He is also accompanied by the members of the negotiating team Erato Kozakou Markoulli, Kypros Chrysostomides, Polis Polyviou, Panagiotis Demetriou, Nikos Kleanthous, Toumazos Tsielepis, Marios Eliades, Constantinos Kombos, Aristotelis Constantinides, Nicolas Kyriakou and other technocrats.

Former President of the Republic George Vasiliou and political party representatives, namely Democratic Rally President Averof Neophytou, left-wing AKEL Secretary General Antros Kyprianou, Democratic Party President Nicolas Papadopoulos, Social Democrats Movement President Marinos Sizopoulos, Citizens Coalition leader George Lillikas, Solidarity Movement Deputy President Polis Pallikaros and Ecologists Envronmentalists Movement President George Perdikes also escort the President at his invitation.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader have been engaged in UN-led talks since May 2015 with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.

Source: Cyprus News Agency