Cyprus leaders to meet on Tuesday

The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, namely President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, will meet on Tuesday, in the context of the UN-led peace talks aiming at reunifying the island under a federal roof.

Tuesdays agenda has been agreed between the negotiators of the two sides, Andreas Mavroyiannis and Ozdil Nami, at a meeting they had on Thursday.

According to well informed sources, the two leaders are expected to talk about effective participation in government, EU matters, governance as well as representation of the two communities to institutions and bodies of the federal state, to be established.

UN Secretary Generals Special Advisor on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide, who is abroad these days, will return to Cyprus on Monday in time to attend Tuesdays meeting.

We hope to have a better idea of where the peace process is going, sources close to the talks have told CNA.

Last Thursday, Eide met with and briefed the ambassadors of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council on the state of play at the negotiations. During the meeting some concerns were expressed, the five ambassadors expressed their support to the UN with regard to the talks and reiterated their readiness to help, if and when asked to do so.

President Anastasiades and Akinci are scheduled to meet on 11 and 17 of May as well.

Tuesdays meeting will be their third meeting following the suspension of the talks when Akinci walked out of a meeting in mid February, under the pretext of a House decision to commemorate, briefly, in school a 1950 referendum advocating union with Greece.

The Cyprus House plenary passed on April 7 a bill tabled by the ruling Democratic Rally (DISY) party for a legislative amendment to shift decision-making power on school celebrations from the Parliament to the Ministry of Education which led to the resumption of the talks.

President Anastasiades in recent statements expressed hope that the new round of talks will lead to convergences between the two sides, that will bring about a Cyprus settlement.

Following his last meeting with Akinci, the President said that he had raised the issue of the continued Turkish provocations in Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone.

In a joint statement issued after a dinner they had in early April the two leaders reconfirmed their joint commitment to finding a solution in the best interest of all Cypriots, taking into account the concerns of both communities. Furthermore they exchanged ideas about the way ahead.

Eide has recently told CNA that despite a very difficult surrounding climate, the talks themselves “have been quite good lately”.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. The latest round of UN-facilitated peace talks began in May 2015 with a view to finding a negotiated settlement to reunite the island under a federal roof.

Source: Cyprus News Agency