South Continues to Press on Maras

Following remarks made by President Anastasiades on Maras last week, yesterday it was the turn of the Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister to stress that the return of Maras to the South would facilitate future negotiations.

Minister Ioannis Kasoulidis said that it was the time for large confidence building measures not small steps.

He felt that the TRNC should hand over Maras to the South before negotiations started in October, adding that this would make negotiations easier for the Turkish Cypriots.

When asked about the Greek Cypriot stance on the reopening of chapters 23 and 24 of Turkey’s EU accession bid, Mr Kasulidis replied that they had made their views plain to the EU enlargement commissioner. He had told Stefan Fule that the return of Maras would be one of the preconditions to gaining Greek Cypriot approval for those chapters to be opened.

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