Diplomatic sources close to the negotiations have said that in September a high-level Turkish government official had informed all parties involved that Turkey had shifted its stance on guarantees for Cyprus.
The official stressed that a system of guarantees for a reunited Cyprus shouldn’t necessarily have a military element. In this context, the guarantor powers could protect constitutional order in Cyprus without military means. In the event of security concerns, the guarantors could help resolve matters via diplomacy or the imposition of sanctions.
According to ‘Cyprus Weekly’, the Turkish Cypriots have reiterated their position at the table, underlining that guarantees should be in place for at least a period of time. The Greek Cypriots want to abolish guarantees as a matter of principle.
However, they are ready to accept that guarantees could be abolished when a solution is implemented, given that it could take up to five years, there is room for a mutually acceptable compromise.
The two community leaders have begun a round of intensive talks and all outstanding aspects of the problem will be on the table. The property issue and the effort to define criteria for restitution, compensation and exchange of properties was discussed at the first meeting on 2nd and 5th November. In addition issues such as territorial adjustments and settlers were also discussed on Thursday.
This month, both sides will try to find common ground on issues such as the executive, the competences of the federal and the constituent states, as well as the sensitive issue of signing international agreements by the federal units.
Mustafa Akinci and his team still argue that the constituent states should have majorities in population and land ownership. They still seek derogations from the acquis communautaire and would like to see the property section of the agreement to become EU primary law.
But according to ‘Cyprus Weekly’, the Turkish Cypriot team have begun to realise that such positions will not be accepted, not only by the Greek Cypriots but also by the EU.