Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades on Saturday expressed his hope that the intensification of the UN-backed talks, as agreed yesterday between him and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, will create, in the next months, the elements that will allow us to finally witness the termination of the Turkish occupation, the restoration of all human rights and the creation of the conditions that will lead to a modern, European state, where citizens will not fall short of human rights compared to their fellow European citizens.
Speaking to the press during the inauguration of an agricultural museum at the village of Pera Pedi in Limassol, the President pointed out that his vision as well as the vision of all the political parties, is to see those conditions be created, through the reunification of our country, for a sustainable economy and the prospect for a bright future for our youth, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.
Anastasiades pledged once again that he remains determined and ready to fight to end “the scourge or shame we feel 41 years after the Turkish invasion and occupation that followed”.
On Friday the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, have decided to intensify the Cyprus negotiations, aiming at reunifying the island.
In a statement read out on behalf of the two leaders, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide said that the leaders met today in a spirit of cooperation, reconfirming their joint vision for a united Cyprus as set out in the Joint Declaration of 11 February 2014.
“The leaders recognized the hard work of the negotiators and their relevant experts on defining clear criteria on property, as well as their continued efforts on outstanding aspects of governance and power-sharing and economy”, he said.
He added that the leaders furthermore welcomed that experts have begun work in order to prepare the future Turkish Cypriot constituent state for the implementation of the EU acquis upon entry into force of the settlement agreement, while sessions have been held on food safety, plant health and veterinary regulations, which are all important enablers of post-settlement trade.
Likewise, Eide noted, legal experts have begun work on federal laws that will form part of the future settlement.
That was the 10th formal meeting between the leaders since the resumption of talks in May. During the same period, the negotiators have met 50 times, while the various technical committees and working groups have had no less than 87 meetings.
“These interactions have created a solid basis for the intensification of talks, a phase in which the leaders will take an even more direct role in the negotiations. The purpose is to seek mutually beneficial solutions on issues where divergences remain”, Eide pointed out.
He said that the leaders have agreed to meet at least six times during the coming month, and agreed on the dates on which they will be meeting. This intense phase will start on Monday, 2nd November, after which they will meet on the 5th, 18th 20th, 23rd and 25th November. The negotiators and their teams will continue to meet on an almost daily basis.
The UN official explained that “this intensified phase will not consist of individual meetings followed by a public statement each time, as has been the case till now. Rather, it will be seen as sessions of a continuous meeting, in which assessments of achievements made or obstacles remaining will only be made towards the end”.
He furthermore said that the leaders reiterate that they each negotiate in the interests of their own communities, as well as taking into consideration the concerns of the other community, in order to reach a settlement that meets the best interests of all citizens of a future, united Cyprus.
“Recognizing the inter-dependent nature of the issues, Mr. Anastasiades and Mr. Akıncı have agreed to put their sights on a future where all citizens of a united Cyprus can co-exist and live together in peace and prosperity”, he concluded.
President Anastasiades described his meeting with Mustafa Akinci as constructive and productive, noting that in November the Cyprus talks will be intensified.
In statements at the Presidential Palace, after returning from a meeting, President Anastasiades said that in November the leaders will be discussing all pending issues as well as the issue of properties.
”It was a constructive meeting and it has been decided to intensify the talks with six meetings in November, to examine not only the issue of properties but also the pending issues”, the President said.
Replying to questions, he noted that one should not expect that in November the negotiations will
conclude in such a way that we will come to a solution.
“I wish this is the case, if there is also good will from the other side. But in any case what I want to say is that it was a good and productive meeting today,” the President concluded.
It is high time we called on the international community and in particular Europe to turn to Turkey and exert pressure as regards the Cyprus solution, House President Yiannakis Omirou has said.
Invited to comment on Friday`s decision to intensify the UN-backed talks, Omirou pointed out that the statements made recently by the Turkish Cypriot leader on guaranteed majorities and permanent derogations from the acquis, unfortunately have disproved the expectations created.
Speaking Saturday following an event organized by Democratic Party in Nicosia, Omirou said the international and the European community have a responsibility to turn to Turkey and demand that it abandons such irreconcilable approaches.
In a question regarding the elections tomorrow in Turkey, Omirou said that he does not think a substantive change will take place as regards the Cyprus issue.