Start of Cyprus talks still some way off

Following an informal meeting between Presidents Eroglu and Anastasiades, President Eroglu who had been escorted by his adviser and Turkish Cypriot negotiator Osman Ertug and two officials at the meeting, said that when President Anastasiades had been elected in February 2013, the Turkish Cypriot side “declared its readiness to resume negotiations from where they were left off”.

He continued that, “Mr Anastasiades insisted on a joint statement for the resumption of fully fledged negotiations and in time he turned this into a precondition”.

Eroglu said that “the reason why the joint statement exercise has not produced a result is the Greek Cypriot side’s efforts to include issues of substance that need to be discussed within the framework of the comprehensive settlement negotiations in the joint statement”.

During the meeting, he added, the Turkish Cypriot side had proposed “new formulas in order to overcome these difficulties”, and that “all issues of substance raised within the joint statement are elements of the Governance and Power Sharing chapter. This is why I proposed to Mr Anastasiades that we resume the fully fledged negotiations with the Governance and Power Sharing chapter as soon as he returns from his visit abroad with a view to concluding them”.

Eroglu said that during their meeting last night, he reiterated his invitation of 30th  May 2013 to visit the Apostolos Andreas Monastery, in the Karpas together with President Anastasiades.

“I think the realisation of such a visit before Christmas will give a positive message to our respective publics”, Eroglu said.

He added that “the necessary basis exists in the form of convergences which are on the negotiation table. I am ready to sit at the table without any preconditions upon Mr Anastasiades’ return from abroad”.

Speaking to the press, President Anastasiades who had been accompanied at the meeting by the Greek Cypriot negotiator for the Cyprus talks, Andreas Mavroyiannis, the Director of the President’s Diplomatic Office Nicos Christodoulides and another official, said that there is still “a way to go before” the two sides could reach a joint agreement to resume the Cyprus talks.

Anastasiades said he had taken the initiative to arrange an informal meeting with the Turkish Cypriot President with the view to finding out whether they can agree on a joint statement that could lead to a political settlement.

The Greek Cypriot President described the two and a half hour meeting as useful, adding that it had enabled both sides to better understand the other’s positions as regards the formulation of a joint statement.

President Anastasiades said that “unfortunately we still have a way to go until we reach the desired outcome, that would allow the commencement of a substantive dialogue among the leaders of the two communities and that would create prospects of a successful outcome”.

He ended his statement by saying: “Our intention is to continue the consultations between the negotiators of the two communities with a view to concluding the joint statement that would allow us to resume the talks”.


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