President Anastasiades said Tuesday’s meeting, between himself and President Akinci, had focused on internal security and administrative powers and was “productive”.
He added that convergences had been reached during the meeting, but would not give details. Friday’s session would launch discussion on issues of “significant importance, including territorial adjustments, security, and guarantees”, he said.
“Naturally, it will be a kick-off meeting, a brainstorming session to see what each side aims at and whether mutual understandings are possible,” the president said.
Asked if either side would be presenting maps on Friday, Anastasiades said “not likely, but I wouldn’t rule it out”.
He added that the United Nations Security Council report on the peacekeeping force in Cyprus did not include any reference to a solution by the end of 2016, was a matter of “facing the realities, and not what we would like to see”.
“What I want to stress is the constant progress on a range of issues,” said Anastasiades, who announced last week that “very little or nothing at all” remained to be done on the legislative and judiciary powers, and reported “significant progress” on the executive.
Responding to Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim’s warning issued to the Greek Cypriots that this was the last chance to reach an agreement.
Anastasiades said he was saddened that the positive climate in the talks was poisoned by such statements.
Anastasiades added that if Yildirim really wanted a state that would even support Turkey’s prospects and goals, Ankara should contribute towards achieving a solution as soon as possible.
“It would be to their benefit, to the benefit of the Turkish Cypriots, the benefit of the Greek Cypriots, the benefit of Europe, it would be to the benefit of peace in the region in general.”
“I must say that, through dialogue, the concerns of each community are being understood better, and improvements and progress are achieved through the creative contribution of each side,” Anastasiades said.
“However, I am unable to offer a note of optimism unless difficulties facing us on the issue of either properties, which might be helped by progress on territory, or security and guarantees”, he concluded.