President Anastasiades is looking forward to Lute preparing the resumption of the talks, says Spokesman

President of the Republic, Nicos Anastasiades, is very positively looking forward to Jane Hall Lute’s preparations for the resumption of the negotiations from the point where the talks ended, based on the progress achieved and the UNSG’s framework including its six parametres, Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou has said.

Prodromou made the remarks after President Anastasiades met on Friday with UNSGs Special Representative in Cyprus and head of UNFICYP, Elizabeth Spehar.

He said today’s discussion centred on the preparation of Lute’s visits to Cyprus and capitals involved on the Cyprus problem. Prodromou said our side is ready, the President is very positively looking forward at the preparations underway by Lute in resuming the negotiations.

The position of the President and the Greek Cypriot side, he added, remains the same as it was exactly a year ago today: To resume the negotiations from the point where they were interrupted, the progress achieved and the UNSG’s framework including the six parametres that are all important, including the UN’s clear intention to link a solution to the Cyprus issue with the withdrawal of occupation troops and a new system of security that will replace the outdated and dangerous system of guarantees by third countries.

Prodromou said Lute’s intention is to visit Cyprus within this month. Our side, he added, offered any date after the 20th of July anniversary of the Turkish invasion.

He also said that the two sides discussed the renewal of UNFICYP’s mandate since there is an intention from some countries to review the peacekeeping forces not only in Cyprus but everywhere.

Prodromou said that the continuation of the UNFICYP mandate is of paramount significance, since the Republic of Cyprus, a UN member state, is under Turkish occupation and the presence of the occupation army creates the need to provide protection that is afforded by the UN peacekeeping force.

We believe that by resuming the negotiation procedure, it will be easier to avoid any negative development concerning UNFICYP, he added.

The spokesman also confirmed that during the meeting on Friday, the delay in opening the Dherynia checkpoint was pointed out by the Greek Cypriot side, adding that unfortunately the delay is not due to our side.

He reminded that during their last meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader in April, the President had pledged that we are ready to open the Dherynia checkpoint by the 1st July as well as another one by the end of summer. Our side, he added, has already fulfilled all its obligations and is ready to open the checkpoint. Unfortunately, there are still pending procedures on the Turkish Cypriot side and the occupied areas.

The initial agreement talked about more crossing points and these two checkpoints would have been the beginning. However, he added, there are delays. He expressed hope that with good will there will be solutions.

Regarding the Turkish President’s visit to the occupied north of the island and the inauguration of the Hala Sultan mosque in the Turkish occupied part of Nicosia, the Cypriot spokesman described it as an illegal visit.

The political direction undertaken by Turkey in the last years is known, religious fanatism is something that did not exist before amongst Turkish Cypriots, he said, adding that now it is being cultivated in different ways. This, he added, is an additional reason to urgently look for a solution that will end the Turkish occupation and such undesirable influences.

Invited to comment on information that the Greek company Energean has expressed interest in transporting natural gas to Cyprus from a floating plant, the spokesman said the interest probably exists. These are issues that should be handled by the competent authorities. “

He underlined that all work under way concerning the East Mediterranean pipeline are on track.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. The latest round of UN-peace talks, last year, at the Swiss resort of Crans – Montana ended without an agreement. Talks held under the auspices of the UN aim at reunifying Cyprus under a federal roof.

Source: Cyprus News Agency