President Anastasiades calls on National Council members to reflect on the issue of a decentralised federation

President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades did not submit a proposal to the members of the National Council concerning the powers of the central government, but has asked its members to reflect on the issue of a decentralised federation.

Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou, speaking after the National Council meeting said the President completed the briefing he started on October 8 and announced that the National Council will convene again after the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy Jane Holl Lute completes her second visit to Cyprus which is expected to take place early November.

Prodromou said that during today’s session, members discussed the proposal that the President submitted last time over the possibility of strengthening the functionality of a solution by decentralizing responsibilities from the centralised state to the two constituent states.

Several views were heard, he said, underlining that the President had no intention to submit an overall proposal that would constitute a position of the Greek Cypriot side at the negotiations. Prodromou said the President suggested a discussion to follow, to hear all views and suggestions as well as criticism.

Invited to comment on criticism that the President should as soon as possible make steps that will lead to the resumption of the talks, Prodromou said the President has already done that and the criticism was unnecessary as he has already informed the SG on his intention, but the other side must consent. What we hear so far from the Turkish side, he added, does not create the proper ground necessary to resume the negotiations.

The resumption of the discussion depends on the Turkish side’s will and its intention this time to discuss the six parameters of the SG, the Spokesman added.

Regarding the decentralised federation, Prodromou said that suggestions and different views were raised during the National Council meeting. The President, he added, aims to have all views before him if he finally decides to put forward the issue as a proposal and possibly support it with scientific view.

Regarding the limits of a decentralised federation, the Spokesman said that those are the responsibilities and powers that allow a state to function normally.

Asked if the decentralised federation might cause a problem to the security aspect of the Cyprus issue, the Spokesman replied in the negative, adding that one of the parameters of the Guterres framework is security and Turkey does not want to discuss the abolition of guarantees. This is the problem that the negotiations are facing at the moment, he added.

To a question if Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has asked for information over the President’s proposal for a decentralised federation, Prodromou said he hoped that Akinci (during the two leaders’ meeting on Friday) is ready to hold a discussion on Cyprus, to seek an agreed solution. The President will hold a free discussion and has every good intention to discuss anything but he will also make sure to find out if the Turkish Cypriot side is ready for a resumption of the talks, if it is ready to enter negotiations within the Guterres framework, he concluded.

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

Deputy Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Cyprus, Elizabeth Spehar, will host a meeting of the Greek Cypriot leader, Nicos Anastasiades, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, at the Chief of Mission Residence in the United Nations Protected Area on 26 October at 10:00.

The Guterres Framework, comprises six parametres and relate to the full and immediate abolition of the 1960 treaty of guarantee, the full withdrawal of Turkey’s occupation troops, territory, property, participation in governance and the rights of Turkish nationals in Cyprus. They were set out by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, during the last Conference on Cyprus, held in Crans-Montana in 2017.

Source: Cyprus News Agency