Dismal results follow presidents’ meeting

The Cyprus negotiations at presidential level have adjourned for the summer with neither side agreeing to anything other than a date when talks will resume, ‘Cyprus Mail’ reports.

It goes on to say that neither side could agree on CBMs major or minor, the methodology of the next round of talks, any of the written proposals presented by either side, nor any of the past convergences.

The only positive was that both sides had presented detailed written proposals, 17 from the Greek Cypriots and 15 from the Turkish Cypriots which included territories and guarantees but no map was provided.

‘Cyprus Mail’ said that President Anastasiades had asked President Eroglu why he had not included past convergences in his latest proposals. Eroglu said that he was in accord with convergences which had been agreed during ex-President Christofias’ tenure, but did not agree with convergences compiled by the then UNSG’s Special Representative in Cyprus, Alexander Downer. However, a UN source said that the latest compilations by Downer had been based on those agreed in the Christofias years.

President Eroglu said that the second phase of the talks was complete and it was time to move on to the ‘give and take’ phase.

President Anastasiades did not agree and said that it was necessary to establish a methodology for the next round of talks before bargaining could take place. He repeated his suggestion that both sides list what convergences they could accept, might accept and definitely did not agree with, in order to form some kind of framework for the ‘give and take’ phase of the talks.

It is said that Eroglu rejected this and that Anastasiades went on to suggest that they look at the February 11 Joint Statement and all the following proposals to see what could be mutually agreed.

Again President Eroglu objected on the grounds that this would sweep away past convergences.

In an effort to avoid a total impasse, Anastasiades proposed that the two negotiators meet again in an effort to reach agreement on something, which the two leaders could endorse in a meeting on 31st July.

Eroglu said he was unable to meet with them as it would be the end of Bayram and then holidays followed. The paper also noted that the Turkish Presidential elections take place in August.

Again, sources said Eroglu proposed opening a checkpoint in Lefke on the foothills of the Troodos mountain range, a move which local Turkish Cypriots had been wanting for a long time. Anastasiades was in favour of the idea providing both sides could also agree on another checkpoint that would prove very useful to Greek Cypriots, proposing one at Athienou village in the Larnaca district. Eroglu replied this would be very difficult to achieve.

Later in the afternoon, the UN released a statement saying the two leaders will meet again on 2nd September. The negotiators have been instructed to continue discussions on methodology and CBMs ahead of the leaders’ meeting. It is thought that Andreas Mavroyiannis and Kudret Ozersay will meet again on 26th August.

Before yesterday’s meeting began, the two leaders paid a first ever joint visit to the anthropological laboratory of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP).

Sources said Anastasiades and the international member of the CMP Paul Henri Arni tried to persuade Eroglu to make a joint statement, referencing the importance of providing information on missing persons, granting access to all military archives containing such information, and allowing the CMP to work in military zones. Apparently Eroglu was reluctant to do so.

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