UN Secretary General’s presence in Crans Montana on Friday gave momentum to the talks – Eide: We have a plan and we are negotiating
Crans Montana.- (GreekNewOnline, CNA)
The Cyprus Conference in Crans Montana, Switzerland, has gained momentum after the arrival on Friday, of the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the meetings he held with all parties involved. Although the UN Chief and it is possible not to return unless his presence is absolutely necessary, the sides will be called on Monday to give their answers to fundamental question on the crucial issue of security, which involves pulling out Turkish troops currently stationed on Cyprus and scrapping guarantee an intervention rights obtained by Greece, Turkey and Britain when Cyprus became independent in 1960.
Espen Barth Eide, UN Secretary General’s special adviser on Cyprus who presides over the talks, was quoted as saying that the two sides will submit separate points which will hopefully be turned into common points with the help of the United Nations.
A statement issued on Saturday which is attributed to the UN Secretary General`s Spokesman refers to “highly constructive discussions” of Mr Guterres with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, the guarantor powers Greece, Turkey and the UK and the EU.
“In a positive, results-oriented meeting of the Secretary-General with the Heads of Delegation last night, a clear understanding emerged of the essential elements of a package that might lead to a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus,” the statement notes.
“The Conference on Cyprus continues at the political level this morning (Saturday),” it reads.
The statement concludes by saying that “the Secretary-General remains fully engaged in these efforts to deliver a comprehensive settlement to the people of Cyprus”.
There were no meetings scheduled on Sunday and the talks were expected to resume Monday morning. Discussions will continue into this week with the two leaders, technocrats and the foreign ministers of the guarantor parties – Turkey, Greece, UK – with the aim of achieving work on the guarantees issue while more progress and convergences are necessary on internal aspects. The Conference on Cyprus began on Wednesday.
In the morning discussion on securities and guarantees, no negotiations took place while Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades’ suggestion that the sides give answers on Monday to specific questions on the issue to clarify their intentions and what each side actually means, was accepted.
Prior to Saturday’s talks, Anastasiades met Kotzias and the UK Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan. Anastasiades later on Saturday informed the National Council.
CNA reported that there are no results so far on the chapter of security and guarantees but only some indications and according to the UN Secretary General this is a key issue in the Conference on Cyprus, at Crans-Montana, Switzerland.
At the same time, the SG has presented his way of approach on several issues, including that of security and guarantees.
According to CNA sources, the Greek Cypriot side does not approach positively the fact that the SG has left Crans-Montana, although the latter said that he would return if needed. The same sources said that Antonio Guterres does not intend to return to Crans-Montana on Sunday evening nor allow the UN to play a mediatory role, submit ideas or have a role in the procedure. It is up to the interested parties to make the decisions, the sources said.
A source in the Turkish delegation quoted by the Cypriot state radio on Saturday. Said that “the Turkish side has information that Antonio Guterres will return to the Swiss resort on Sunday night to take part in Monday’s discussion.”
Eide: We have a plan
and we are negotiating
On Friday night the essential elements of a package that may lead to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem had emerged from the dinner with the UNSG, Anonio Guterres said his Special Adviser, Espen Barth Eide at the end of the discussions in the two tables of the Conference on Cyprus, on Saturday, in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.
Replying to journalists’ questions he said that the package has not many but very specific elements which are being negotiated now on the two tables.
The two tables this morning discussed the issues of the package that belong to the relevant tables, he added. “A package of issues has been identified and if we manage to solve those we will have basically the elements of a comprehensive settlement”.
This morning we started well and we will continue over the weekend when the delegations will work on their own on developing these ideas and Monday morning we will be back here between 9 and 11 am at the two tables, Eide said.
Replying to a relevant question Eide said that “physical papers will be on the table on Monday morning on all essential issues across all chapters. There are clear issues on the guarantees and security table and clear issues on the bicommunal parallel table which are jointly understood that they are “make or break” issues. There are other issues but not of the `make or break` nature, they are not at divergence or importance that will make the deal impossible”.
As he explained, Monday morning the relevant parties will give their positions on separate papers and hopefully at the end it can be one paper. According to Eide it will be like they did it in Cyprus but with more participants this time and “the separate papers will be eventually in agreement, turn to black”.
Earlier he had said that this is a systematic process of negotiations. “Now we actually are negotiating”. He also said that it was a very constructive dinner with UNSG which basically set out a working plan on everything and identified the issues needed to be finalised now on both tables.
Replying to another question Eide said that the plan is to stay in Crans-Montana. “The current plans have not changed and the Ministers will stay on”, he noted.
he procedure on Cyprus continues, Greek FM says
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said that on Monday the procedure on the Cyprus talks in the framework of the Conference on Cyprus will continue.
Speaking to reporters at the end of Saturday’s discussions at Crans Montana, Switzerland, Kotzias described UN Secretary – General Antonio Guterres as an excellent personality in the international arena, noting he feels lucky they were able to cooperate on a very good path on the Cyprus problem.
On Monday, said Kotzias, the parties will answer on two fundamental questions in the chapter of securities and guarantees, noting that the procedure continues.
‘The procedure will continue. On Monday we will have the lead. We have asked for two fundamental questions to be answered so that we can break them down and start a discussion’, Kotzias said. He added that the Greek and Cypriot delegations have hard work ahead this weekend.
State broadcaster CyBC reported that the Turkish side is optimistic and expressed its satisfaction at Guterres’ presence. The Turkish delegation, CyBC reported, believes that the conference could lead to a settlement solution.
It added that Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reportedly cancelled his participation in the G20 meeting which is to take place in Berlin on July 7 and 8 as he is determined to remain at the Swiss resort throughout the talks.
CyBC also said that according to unconfirmed reports by the Turkish side, Guterres might return on Sunday to participate in Monday’s talks.
A Turkish source was quoted by the Cypriot state radio as saying that the Turkish side believes that the process can proceed at a faster pace in the next days provided that Guterres will return to be part of the negotiations.
“The Turkish side has the belief that if Guterres were to return, his presence would give a bigger emphasis on making decisions at a political level so as to proceed faster,” the source said.
The Turkish source was also quoted as saying that in such a case the conference on Cyprus could be wrapped up at Crans-Montana.