President is doing his utmost for the resumption of the negotiations, Prodromou stresses

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades is doing his utmost for the resumption of the negotiations on the Cyprus problem, Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou stressed on Thursday.

In statements to the media after a meeting Anastasiades had with left-wing AKEL party leader, Andros Kyprianou, who met last week in Ankara with the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, and asked whether there seems to be a change in Ankara’s position on the chapter of security and guarantees, Prodromou said that things are difficult and that Turkey’s position is well known.

There are still difficulties due to the positions Ankara puts forward since the Conference on Cyprus in Crans Montana, he added.

He also noted that a question that needs to be considered is whether Ankara is ready as our side is for the immediate resumption of the negotiations. He added that this is a matter that will become clear in the framework of the UNSG’s envoy Jane Holl Lute’s mission.

Asked about the terms of reference which the sides have been called by the UN to agree on, Prodromou said that the difference of the terms of reference, as defined by the UN Secretariat, from the joint statements of the past that led to the resumption of the negotiations is that the UNSG explicitly says that the two sides must reach an agreement on them. Furthermore, the spokesman said that the terms of reference will be a framework which will be binding as regards the negotiations.

Prodromou noted that the UNSG’s desire to have these terms of reference and then proceed with the resumption of the negotiations confirms what President Anastasiades insisted on for a long time now, that there must be a preparation of the negotiations before their resumption.

He went on to say that if the terms of reference are agreed something which we are pursuing, this will be a positive development regarding the efforts for the resumption of the talks.

Moreover he noted that as the UN and Lute have said the terms of reference will concern both the process and the content of the negotiations. Prodromou said that the Guterres’ Framework and the convergences reached so far need to be part of the terms of reference.

Replying to a question Prodromou said these terms cannot be different for each side, and cannot be set out only by Lute.

The Secretary General wants the two sides to agree on them, he added, noting that President Anastasiades has unofficially discussed this issue with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

With regard to Anastasiades’ ideas about the decentralization of the powers of the central government in the framework of a Cyprus settlement, he noted that the President of the Republic gave explanations about this issue to the National Council and in public, while the government is preparing for the resumption of the negotiations.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. UN-backed negotiations with the aim to reunite the island under a federal roof ended inconclusively in the summer of 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans Montana.

Source: Cyprus News Agency