Anastasiades could postpone May elections

President Nicos Anastasiades has warned that the May elections could be postponed for several months, if necessary.

Addressing the Greek Cypriot National Council on Saturday, Anastasiades briefed its members on progress in the Cyprus negotiations. He also referred to the recent visits by US and Russian officials and British Defence Minister Michael Fallon.

As regards the negotiations, Anastasiades said that there had been an understanding, however no agreement, so far on a number of topics, such as the four freedoms [freedom of movement of capital, people, goods and service provision], the acquis communautaire and the ratio of participation in public service.

There was agreement on maintaining the current population ratio – 800,000 Greek Cypriots and 220,000 Turkish Cypriots. The ratio of 4:1 would be used in the future and revised every 25 years.

There is no agreement on the issue of a rotating presidency or the Flight Information Region (FIR). The Turkish Cypriots want to have two control centres. The North also wants to keep its Ministry for EU Affairs indefinitely.

On the subject of guarantees, Anastasiades said that the 1960 guarantees could no longer stand and future guarantees could not be military in nature.

The South’s president added that upon final agreement, Famagusta should be handed back to its original owners and the bulk of the Turkish army should move out.

Anastasiades noted that the aim was to have only a very brief period of transition, in the event of a solution, of no more than two or three months.

He added that this month, he would be focussing on territorial matters and special status issues.

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