Substantive negotiations in the Cyprus talks began on 6th May which consisted of property issues and the federal executive, Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Kibris Postasi’ reported.
In the five hour meeting between Turkish Cypriot negotiator Kudret Ozersay and his counterpart Andreas Mavroyiannis, the negotiators presented five proposals regarding federal public service, federal competences and property. According to a UN statement they agreed to continue the negotiations on these and other issues on Tuesday, 13th May.
Speaking after the meeting Ozersay said “It is very important for us that the first meeting where we negotiated the substantive issues lasted five hours. Another important aspect of this first meeting was the submission of five different proposals.”
“We negotiated on federal public service, federal competences and property and while negotiating property issues we exchanged ideas under the “land adjustment” heading” he added.
Ozersay also noted that among the presented proposals some of them have the potential for progress. “At times we retreated to separate rooms in order to evaluate the proposals with our own teams,” he said.
The negotiating teams are due to meet for the second meeting of the substantive negotiations on Tuesday 13th May. According to Ozersay’s statement prior to the next meeting, property experts will be discussing the property issue on Friday, 9th May and UN officials will conduct shuttle diplomacy on Thursday and Monday. He added that the two sides have agreed to add new topics to the next meeting’s agenda.
The Turkish Cypriot negotiator said that the first meeting was very positive. “I believe we made a good start with this meeting. I was pleased to see that many aspects that should be included in the negotiations were part of our meeting” said Ozersay.
Ozersay also noted that both presidents will meet in the near future and that the date for their meeting will be decided after Greek Cypriot President Anastasiades returns from his visit to Germany.
Asked whether or not the President of European Commission Josa Manuel Barroso will meet with the UN Good Offices’ special representative Pieter van Nuffel, Ozersay said that they are ready to exchange ideas on EU related issues. “As it is the case with other headings, any issues under EU heading will be negotiated between the two sides. In the new phase, foreign relations, election of the federal government, decision making procedures and issues related to EU affairs will be negotiated” added Ozersay.
He also noted that a second round of cross visits to Ankara and Athens may take place in end of May or beginning of June.
Noting that the speed of negotiations does not match the Turkish Cypriot side’s road map, Ozersay said they expect progress to be made before summer. “Otherwise the momentum which was gained since February might be lost” said Ozersay.
Referring to speculation that the issue of Varosha/Maras was discussed during UN Under-Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman’s visit to Cyprus, Ozersay said, “The issue of Varosha was not even brought to agenda by Feltman.”