Eroglu wants Cyprus talks to begin in April

North Cyprus President, Dervis Eroglu has said that after the second round of the presidential elections in the Republic of Cyprus, he intends to send a letter congratulating the newly elected President and will be asking for the recommencement of the Cyprus talks. In statements made during a press conference yesterday, Mr Eroglu noted that the Turkish side insists on the recommencement of the negotiations in April and on putting a time limit on the process.

Mr Eroglu said that it makes no difference to them who wins the elections. He re-stated his opinion that the Cyprus problem has been discussed since 1968, that all aspects of the problem have been discussed until now and that a time limit should be put in the negotiations. The President noted that Turkey shares the same view with him on this issue, which he discussed with the Turkish President Gul in the sidelines of the recent summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Cairo.

Mr Eroglu said that UN Secretary-General’s special adviser for Cyprus, Alexander Downer will come to the island in March in order to meet with the two leaders and wished for a date for the recommencement of the negotiations to be determined during this visit.

Mr Eroglu acknowledged that the priority of the new South Cyprus government will be its economic problems, nevertheless, he said that the Cyprus negotiations should start before the end of April. He also added that he was concerned that Mr Downer might want to delay the talks until May but either way, he said, re-commencement of negotiations was essential to reach an agreement.

Mr Eroglu recalled that he had met Nicos Anastasiades twice in the past and that meetings had been cordial; Anastasiades had shown a positive attitude towards reconciliation. However, he observed, that talks around the dinner table were different from talks around the negotiating table.

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