President says Greek Cypriot side ready to continue the dialogue

We are ready to continue the dialogue for a Cyprus settlement, President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades said on Tuesday.

President Anastasiades, who was about to attend a lunch, hosted in Nicosia by the Ambassador of Malta, on the occasion of the Maltese EU Presidency, was asked about the possibility of talks resuming in the immediate future and he replied “in the immediate future, I hope so, yes.”

Our position, he went on, is to be ready anytime to continue the dialogue, which will help us achieve a solution within the framework that has been described so many times.

Asked if he felt that during Sundays dinner, Greek Cypriot concerns were not met from the Turkish Cypriot side, the President said he didnt want to make any comments.

He added that the Greek Cypriot side focuses its efforts on the basis of its desire for a Cyprus settlement.

Asked finally if he expected a shift in the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot position following the referendum in Turkey, the President replied he could not predict anything.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-backed efforts to reunify the island under a federal roof were suspended when Mustafa Akinci walked out of a meeting in mid February, 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 has described the decision “wrong”, saying the timing was not right. Akinci said he would not return to the negotiations unless the decision is revoked. The House is set to vote on an amendment on the bill, which essentially annuls the earlier House decision, on Friday 7 April.

The UN Secretary General Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide hosted a dinner last Sunday for President Nicos Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci. In an announcement, issued after the dinner, the UN noted that the two leaders reconfirmed their joint commitment to finding a solution in the best interest of all Cypriots and exchanged ideas about the way ahead.

Furthermore, Espen Barth Eide would continue his interaction with them in order to lay the groundwork for the resumption of the negotiations as soon as possible, the announcement concluded.

Source: Cyprus News Agency