There is no time frame for a resumption of Cyprus talks and it could be October or November before it happens, South Cyprus government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said on Monday, but the Turkish Cypriot side sees no resumption of talks before next year’s presidential elections in the south.
Christodoulides said from the meetings President Nicos Anastasiades had in New York with the UN Secretary-General and those on the sidelines of the General Assembly, it was obvious that Turkey does not want to restart the talks soon.
“Turkey is currently not ready. It was something that was heard in all of the meetings and it was also imparted by Ankara itself in meetings,” he said. “At the moment, Turkey’s priority is not the Cyprus issue so there is no time horizon. It may be in October or November but in no way do we have the luxury of a new failure.”
Reunification talks ended in Crans-Montana in July when no agreement could be reached on security and guarantees.
Christodoulides said the same message had been given by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres after his separate meetings with the two leaders in New York.
A UN statement noted that Guterres reiterated its commitment to Cyprus, including the availability of the secretary-general’s Good Offices “for a resumption of the talks as soon as the sides demonstrate their readiness to re-engage”.
Christodoulides said this did not mean the Cyprus issue had been “put on ice”.
“What is going to take place during this period is that UN Secretary-General and the UN Security Council will help pave the way for a resumption of talks when Turkey is ready.
“The Cyprus election period was not seen by anyone as a problem for the continuation of the negotiations,” he said.
However, President Mustafa Akinci said on his return from New York, that the UNSG would be evaluating the possibility of reviving the talks once the elections in south Cyprus take place next year.
“However an open-ended process which is not solution oriented is not supported by the Turkish Cypriot side,” Akinci said, adding that he did not expect the negotiations to restart any time soon.