Nicosia.- Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades met on Saturday in Moscow U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in the sidelines of the 70th anniversary celebrations for the victory over Nazi Germany. and the end of World War II.
According to an announcement issued by the UN after the meeting, the Secretary-General welcomed the new optimism about the resumption of negotiations aimed at achieving a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus.
“The Secretary-General and the President also exchanged views on climate change ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris, France, in December 2015”, it is added.
Anastasiades who was on an official visit to the Russian capital after an invitation from president Vladimir Putin had separate meetings on Friday with Putin and the president China, Xi Jinping with whom he discussed the Cyprus problem and bilateral relations.
On Sunday, before returning to Cyprus, he was expected is to meet South African president Jacob Zuma to discuss bilateral relations.
Anastasiades arrived in Moscow after he visited Poland, where he met several heads of state and the President of the European Council Donald Tusk. On Wednesday Anastasiades had a telephone conversation with Vice President Joe Biden, with whom he discussed the conflict settlement process, bilateral relations, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
According to a White House spokesperson, the Vice President underscored the importance of seizing the opportunity to work with newly-elected Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to conclude a settlement as soon as possible to reunify the island as a bizonal, bicommunal federation, which is in the overwhelming interest of all Cypriots. The Vice President and President Anastasiades also agreed to continue strengthening our strategic partnership to deepen and expand areas of bilateral cooperation. Finally, on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the two leaders agreed on the importance of maintaining transatlantic solidarity and support for the full implementation of the Minsk agreements.
TETE-A-TETE ON MONDAY
A date for the resumption of the Cyprus talks will be announced today (Monday), after dinner between Anastasiades and Akinci and UN Special Advisor Espen Barth Eide, who called on Cypriot leaders to seize this unique opportunity for Cyprus reunification after 41 years of division.
“So I am very encouraged by the climate that has been created over the last weeks and months here and I think this is an opportunity that Cypriots must take,” Eide told reporters.
He made the comments after meeting President Nicos Anastasiades. The Norwegian also met newly elected Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci,
The dinner diplomacy engagement inside Nicosia’s UN-controlled buffer zone will be the first time the two leaders have met since Akinci’s election victory last month.
“I have invited them to a dinner…from there on we will decide when – not if – but when negotiations will formally start,” said the Norwegian diplomat.
“I think that we are talking about relatively soon and from then on I think we are into a very important moment of Cyprus history,” he added.
He said both leaders are agreed there “is no time to waste and that means that we are not going to waste any time”.
Eide said that with both leaders backing reconciliation efforts and constructing a climate of confidence “the sense which is created on both sides of Cyprus now is that this opportunity is unique”.
“That’s an opportunity that has to be utilized when it’s there. It may not necessarily come back any time soon if we are losing this opportunity.”
The envoy said the two leaders are “committed to working very hard together to solve this problem”.
Nicosia also wants to see greater involvement of the five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council to ensure a results-orientated process.
And Eide said the EU is following developments with “great interest” but a solution must be “compatible with EU standards”.
Anastasiades pulled out of the UN-brokered talks in protest at Turkish exploration for oil and gas off the island’s coast but announced in April that they would return to the negotiating table after the Turkish Cypriot election.
Both Ankara and Washington have voiced hope that 2015 could finally be the year that Cyprus is reunited.
According to “Cyprus Weekly”, a clear path providing the essential elements of an initial agreement to resolve the Cyprus problem will be available to Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci when they resume peace talks later this month.
Senior diplomatic sources told the Cyprus Weekly that through horizontal negotiations between chapters – an unprecedented process in Cyprus talks – both sides will have the opportunity to have gains in one chapter, whilst conceding less desirable objectives in another.
For example, the Greek Cypriot side could see gains in territory and properties, while accepting that Turkish Cypriots will be on a better footing in governance and constitutional matters.
International players working for reunification believe that, through this method, an initial agreement can be achievable in the autumn, giving the sides the time to beef up their respective sections by the end of the year.
Under the above plan, a political agreement should be built on the following basic elements:………..
The undertaking of a more active and decisive role by the EU in the efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem will benefit both Cyprus and the EU itself, government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said on Saturday in a message to mark Europe Day.
The fundamental principle of equality and mutual respect among EU member states safeguards the reliability and the effective role of all the member states in European undertakings, the message said.
“In this framework, Cyprus can contribute positively both in the efforts for European integration as well as in the promotion of the objectives and aspirations of the EU on regional and international issues,” it said.
According to Christodoulides, the 40-year-long suffering of Cyprus caused by division and military occupation, constitutes an open wound on the structure of Europe, of which Cyprus is an integral part.
“A viable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem that will terminate occupation and genuinely reunify our homeland must inevitably be consistent with the EU acquis communautaire and with the fundamental principles and values on which the European Union is founded, such as respect for human rights and basic freedoms,” it said.
Within this framework, the message said, the EU can be the safety valve for a reunified Cyprus by safeguarding the human rights and basic freedoms for all the people of Cyprus, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.
President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades will visit Jerusalem following the formation of the government in Israel, Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides said.
In a written message, Christodoulides said President Anastasiades had a telephone communication with Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday afternoon “whom he congratulated on the positive conclusion in the effort to form a government in Israel”.
During their conversation, he said, “President Anastasiades briefed the Prime Minister of Israel on the latest developments on the Cyprus problem and the prospects for the resumption of the talks.