A meeting between Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and party leaders has resulted in an agreement that the proposed Turkish Cypriot road map in the Cyprus talks should be rejected and a refusal to enter the next round talks – the ‘give and take’ phase for the present. ‘Cyprus Mail’ reports.
Anastasiades briefed the party leaders at the Presidential Palace on the latest in the peace talks, including his recent meetings with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, UN Special Representative Lisa Buttenheim and the Greek leadership in Athens.
Prior to Anastasiades’ trip abroad for the UN General Assembly meeting in New York, the National Council will hold a three-day meeting to decide how to proceed in the peace process, government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said.
The president also agreed to inform parliament in private, about the developments in the Cyprus negotiations.
Following the briefing, it became evident that the only two points that all parties agreed upon was Anastasiades’ rejection of the Turkish Cypriot road map and that the time was not right to proceed to the third stage of the talks – the ‘give and take’ phase.
AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou said it was important to send a strong message to the Turkish side that the parties unanimously agree “we cannot go to the next phase of give-and-take”.
He highlighted the need to conduct substantive negotiations within the framework of agreements reached to date, as outlined by UN resolutions, high-level agreements, international and European law.
Kyprianou called for domestic unity to confront “Turkish intransigence which is evidently growing, and responsible for the impasse” in the peace talks.
The opposition leader, once again called on the president to adopt past convergences agreed between Demetris Christofias and Mehmet Ali Talat, while maintaining the right to negotiate further those chapters which he has strong views on. Only this way will Eroglu be forced to take a real stand on past convergences.
The president informed party leaders that Eroglu insists on past convergences without clarifying which convergences he’s talking about, said Kyprianou.
DIKO leader Nicolas Papadopoulos said the briefing confirmed the “sad and unpleasant” fact that the process is at risk of deadlock, both in terms of procedure and substance.
“Unfortunately, what is noted is that our side’s tactic and strategy has failed,” he said.
“The Turkish side remains with its intransigent positions, while we are left with our concessions and generous offers made in the joint declaration.
“Even worse, what we see today is that there is no plan B, no alternative strategy. What there appears to be is puzzlement and confusion on how to proceed,” he added.
EDEK’s Yiannakis Omirou and Speaker of the House, said it was obvious the Turkish side was preparing for a “blame game” in the event of reaching deadlock.
Greens deputy Giorgos Perdikis said the president rightly rejected Eroglu’s road map. “We also support him on the position that past convergences should not be used, many of which constitute very painful concessions of the Greek Cypriots,” he said.
EVROKO leader Demetris Syllouris welcomed as “very positive” Nicosia and Athens’ intention to secure greater EU involvement in the talks so as to base a solution on EU values and principles.
Citizens’ Alliance leader Giorgos Lillikas said he was “satisfied” with the two counts of unanimity in the party leaders’ council on the road map and inadequate groundwork to justify a give-and-take process.
Beyond that, he said he was very concerned that Eroglu’s positions do not just differ on procedure, but on substance.
The Greek Cypriots must prepare a strategy to deal with a possible impasse, but also decide whether it serves their interests to keep the talks on life support, he said.