Remarks by the Government Spokesman on the meeting of the National Council

The President of the Republic, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, presided today, at the Presidential Palace, over a meeting of the National Council.

Following the meeting, the Government Spokesman, Mr Nikos Christodoulides, told reporters that “there was a briefing by the President of the Republic about everything that took place since the last meeting of the National Council. Answers were provided for many questions posed by all the leaders of the parties.”

In response to an observation by a reporter that some parties expressed disagreement with regard to holding a discussion on the Territorial issue outside Cyprus, the Spokesman said that “certainly it would be obviously preferable for the discussion to take place in Cyprus. But what we hold onto is the essence. And the essence is that this important chapter will, at last, be discussed, and notably it will be discussed in combination with the Property issue and not the Security issue, as the Turkish Cypriot position was initially.

For so much time we were saying that it is time, at last, that it is important for the Territorial issue to be discussed. Now that we reached the time to discuss it I think that we should all look at the essence. And the essence is the need, at last, for this decisive issue to be discussed with maps, with names.”

Asked whether the President’s travel abroad harbors risks, the Spokesman said that “there is absolutely no risk. As the process is at this moment at the Nicosia airport (site of the talks on the Cyprus problem) with the two negotiating teams, with the United Nations team, the discussion will take place. If and when the two leaders decide, when these meetings are concluded, it will take place somewhere abroad. We are interested in the essence and I am sure that the parliamentary parties are also interested in the essence; because the discussion, the substantive discussion of the Territorial issue, will determine to a great extent the course of the process that is under way.”

Asked to comment on what is said by the Turkish Cypriot leader about an interim agreement, the Spokesman said that “to begin with, let me clarify that there is no issue raised concerning an interim agreement. I remind you that it is the President of the Republic that raised it at the negotiating table and there is from now discussion about the first day of the solution, about the economic aspect of the solution, aspects of the Cyprus problem that were never before discussed in the past. And the reason is that the President will not put before the people of Cyprus a plan that contains ambiguities, that contains constructive or other ambiguities. Consequently, there is no issue raised for an interim agreement; and what the President very clearly mentioned to the leaders of the parliamentary parties is that, it is a mistake for remarks made by the Turkish Cypriot side to be interpreted or presented as issues that were agreed at the negotiating table, or as something that has been accepted by the Greek Cypriot side. Nobody speaks on behalf of the Greek Cypriot side.”

In response to a question whether a Camp David type procedure will take place abroad for a discussion of the Territorial issue, the Spokesman said that “we are not talking about either Camp David or Green Tree.”

Replying to a question whether there is time pressure from the fact that they will be abroad for a discussion on the Territorial issue, the Spokesman said that “there is nothing that will determine how much time will be needed for any chapter to be closed and there is neither a timeframe or arbitration, as we have seen it manifest itself in the past following consent by our side.”

Source: Press and Information Office