There is no need to repeat methods that have been tried and tested in the past and failed, President Nicos Anastasiades told journalists on Wednesday after five hours of UN-brokered Cyprus talks came to an end.
“We have actually submitted a constructive proposal that could lead us into a substantial dialogue and a desired outcome but the Turkish Cypriot side has raised objections,” said Anastasiades.
He said the “usefulness” of a new Cyprus conference in Geneva was discussed at length, as were the conditions which would bring that about. Anastasiades gave no details regarding the criteria for another conference.
On his return to the presidential palace, Anastasiades said that over the next 24 hours, UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide would be engaged in shuttle diplomacy to see where things were headed and whether there were possibilities for another meeting that would bring results.
Akinci said afterwards that he had proposed a Geneva conference in June in order to make progress before exploratory drilling starts in [South] Cyprus’ EEZ this July.
“We all know the danger that awaits us in July…If we were able to obtain a date in June, we could have focussed on that in today’s meeting…But no such agreement was possible,” said a disappointed Akinci.
He said “unilateral” drilling will only bring more tension.
“I am having trouble understanding the Greek Cypriot leader, his approach is different. He says that he made constructive and positive proposals. There was no such thing,” said Akinci.
“If the Greek Cypriot leader does not change his approach then neither I nor the leaders after me will be able to conduct negotiations in this atmosphere,” he added.
Earlier on today UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told journalists in Strasbourg that a new high-level conference on Cyprus in Geneva has not been ruled out.
Provided, though, that all parties involved were convinced it would be carried out in an effective way.
Guterres also said that the on-going negotiations are Cypriot led and that the UN’s role is only supportive aiming towards a reunification agreement.
The last Cyprus Conference in Geneva was held in January with the participation of Cyprus’ guarantor powers – Turkey, Greece and the UK.
The focus of the conference was on security and guarantees in a reunited federal Cyprus with membership of the EU.
Turkey is the only guarantor that still insists on maintaining the right of intervention – something that is unacceptable to Greek Cypriots, the EU and the two other guarantors.