Athens.- Cypriot Foreign Affairs Minister Ioannis Kasoulides briefed his Greek counterpart Nicos Kotzias on Friday on the “positive climate” that prevails in the UN-led peace talks in view of the resumption of negotiations to reunite Cyprus. On his part Kotzias responded that Greece strongly supports the Cypriot government in these negotiations.
“I would like to express my optimism about these negotiations”, Kasoulides said during a joint press conference with Kotzias after a meeting in Athens.
The two negotiators, he added, are working for long hours, their meetings take place often and are drawn out and on June 17 they will present the leaders, President Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci the whole picture as to where things stand in all aspects of the Cyprus problem so that the negotiations between them can start.
“How things progress and what outcome is achieved will be evident in the coming months,” Kasoulides saud.
Kotzias said that as a guarantor power of Cyprus, Greece does not wish to continue legally the 1960 Zurich agreements on the guarantor powers.
“We believe that after creative negotiation takes place and after a good agreement is reached, Cyprus should be an equal EU member state with all the guarantees provided by the EU for its communities, its citizens and its member states,” he added.
Kasoulides agreed with his Greek counterpart, adding that “a true UN member state should function in a such a way so that no guardians are necessary.”
He further pointed out that the solution should include provisions which would make both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots feel equally safe. This would be key to any future referendum the Cypriot people will be called upon to approve, he said.
In the afternoon Kasoulides met with the ambassadors of 29 countries who are accredited to Cyprus but based in Athens.
Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias will receive the UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eider, at 12:00 on Monday, 15 June, at the Foreign Ministry, according to a ministry’s announcement.
Cyprus negotiators to hold a new meeting on Monday
The negotiators of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides ,Andreas Mavroyiannis and Ozdil Nami, evaluated on Friday the situation as regards the UN-led peace talks on the Cyprus problem.
They also continued the preparation of the next meeting of the leaders of the island’s two communities, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, to be held on June 17, Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides has told CNA.
According to Christodoulides, today`s meeting between Mavroyiannis and Nami lasted five hours and their next meeting will take place on Monday morning.
Turkey has rejected comments by President Nicos Anastasiades that a new Turkish government may “directly affect” the Cyprus negotiations, according to the Anodolou news agency.
“We are astounded by the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades’ remarks in Turkish media which attempt to relate the negotiation process towards finding a comprehensive solution for the island with the formation of a (new) government in our country,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“The Greek Cypriot leader must first and foremost make well use of the current [window of] opportunity to find a solution to the Cyprus issue, and focus his efforts on concluding the negotiations held with Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci within the framework of the goodwill mission of the UN general-secretary,” the statement read.
“We consider this attempt to question Turkey’s commitment to finding a fair, permanent and viable solution to the Cyprus issue an intentional tactical maneuver.”
It added that Turkey would continue to “duly perform its international commitments as it always had, and keep contributing to efforts towards resolving the Cyprus issue “at the earliest,” and “making the island and East Mediterranean a region of peace, stability and cooperation.”
In an interview with Turkish daily Hurriyet Friday, Anastasiades said that “depending on who is going to form the coalition government in Turkey, or whether there is going to be a new election, I think the situation will affect Cyprus”.
According to Hurriyet, Anastasiades argued that, although both community leaders – himself and Turkish Cypriot Mustafa Akinci – are committed to the reunification of the island, developments in Turkey could have a direct effect on progress in negotiations.