Referendum unlikely for March: Anastasiades

Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades has said that a referendum on a Cyprus settlement by next March was most unlikely.

Anastasiades said that there were too many problematic issues and unless there is a radical change in the current situation, he did not think a referendum could be held by then.

He noted that the most difficult issues in the negotiations were property, territorial adjustments, guarantees and troop withdrawal timetables. There was also the issue of basic freedoms and human rights.

Anastasiades also pointed to the issue of guarantees, saying that they were not needed in a modern European state. A guarantees formula was contained in Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter, however, the Turkish Cypriots prefer a system of guarantees.

An increased presence of UN troops, Anastasiades added, could monitor the implementation of a solution for a period of time.

Asked whether he excluded the possible involvement of NATO in guarantees and security, Anastasiades said there was no need to create problems when there were alternatives.

Cyprus Mail

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