Cyprus talks resume

UN-led talks between Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci resume on Tuesday after a nearly two-month break,

Anastasiades and Akinci will meet in the UN-controlled area of the defunct Nicosia airport at 1000 local time.

Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides told CNA on Monday that their meeting will mainly focus on procedural issues and that Anastasiades and Akinci will discuss about the way forward and the further steps concerning the process.

UN Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide, who met on Monday with Akinci, said that today a clear idea can come out of how the two leaders will structure the coming weeks “so that we really focus on what is most important.” He also noted that “this is really a time to wrap up and to really invest in seeing how outstanding issues can be bridged,” and that he remains confident that this is possible. “But we need not only the opportunity, we also need the will. We will see in the coming days to which extend that is available,” he added.

Eide also had a telephone conversation on Monday evening with President Anastasiades who was in Madrid for the southern EU states Summit, and discussed with him about the expectations for todays meeting.

UK Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan had on Monday telephone conversations with Anastasiades and Akinci, during which he expressed his countrys support to the negotiating process.

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

The UN announced earlier this month that talks for a Cyprus solution will resume on April 11 after a lull since mid February, when 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 Akinci said he would not return to the negotiations unless the decision was revoked. The House voted last Friday on an amendment on the bill, which essentially annuls the earlier House decision.

Source: Cyprus News Agency