National Council meeting underway

A National Council meeting is underway at the Presidential Palace, in Nicosia, during which Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades will brief political party leaders on the discussion he had with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, during their informal meeting on Tuesday, as regards efforts for the resumption of Cyprus talks and Confidence Building Measures.

Democratic Rally (DISY) President Averof Neofytou, AKEL Secretary-General Andros Kyprianou, Democratic Party (DIKO) President Nicholas Papadopoulos, EDEK President Marinos Sizopoulos, Solidarity Movement President Eleni Theocharous, Citizen’s Alliance Party President, Giorgos Lillikas, Cyprus Green Party President Giorgos Perdikis and ELAM President Christos Christou participate in the meeting.

The meeting is also attended by House President Demetris Syllouris, former President of Cyprus, George Vassiliou, negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis, Government Spokesman, Prodromos Prodromou, Deputy Government Spokeswoman, Klelia Vasiliou, and Deputy Minister to the President, Vasilis Palmas.

Asked by CNA about the meeting of the National Council, Government Spokesman, Prodromos Prodromou, has said that during the meeting the President will brief its members about his recent meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader and the issues they discussed, “including the efforts for the resumption of the negotiations, in view of the position of the Greek Cypriot side that the negotiations must resume the soonest possible.”

Invited to say if the issue of Energy will be discussed during the meeting, given the fact that the results of the first phase of the exploration programme in Block 10 of Republic of Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone were announced on Thursday, the Spokesman said that the President has convened the meeting of the National Council to brief its members about his meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader, but this issue might be discussed given yesterdays important announcements.

Moreover, he recalled that members of the parliamentary parties were briefed yesterday by the Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry, Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, and ExxonMobil’s Vice President Tristan Aspray on the results of the exploratory drilling in Block 10.

During their informal meeting on Tuesday, Anastasiades and Akinci discussed about the formulation of the terms of reference that will pave the way for the resumpition of the Cyprus negotiations, and about Anastasiades ideas on the decentralization of powers.

Moreover Anastasiades raised the issue of recent provocations in Strovilia and Dhenia villages, and violations in the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone by Turkey.

The two leaders also discussed about the work of the bicommunal Technical Committees and Confidence Building Measures, taking decisions about C??s regarding mobile phone interoperability, the interconnectivity of the two electricity grids, and demining.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

Source: Cyprus News Agency