Nicosia.- (CNA) — There is no scheduled meeting between the senior aides to the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot leaders before they meet on Tuesday. Presidential Commissioner George Iakovou, top advisor to President Demetris Christofias, told CNA that he is not planning to meet Ozdil Nami, the top advisor of Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, before Tuesday.
“After a general conversation I had with Nami in Oslo, this week, we believe that we must not raise expectations or encourage concerns with an additional meeting,” he said.
Regarding his meeting in Norway with Talatʼs advisor, Iakovou stressed that it was informal encounter which took place on the sidelines of a conference on “The network of mediators” to which both had been invited.
Asked if Christofias and Talat are likely to issue a joint statement after their meeting, Iakovou indicated that it might not be appropriate to issue a joint statement, especially if the issues under discussion continue to be fluid.
“There are other methods apart from a joint communique. In any case, the decision on this issue rests with the two leaders at Tuesdayʼs meeting. They may discuss some issues in depth and leave the rest for their next meeting or they might evaluate progress in the discussions at the Technical Committees and the Working Groups and continue at their next meeting,” he explained.
Regarding the Turkish Cypriot position on “one sovereignty and one citizenship”, Iakovou noted that the issue of having one sovereign state of Cyprus appears to be easy whereas the issue of a single citizenship is more difficult, in that the Turkish Cypriots quote the relevant reference from a UN-proposed solution plan (the Annan plan) which satisfies them but does not satisfy the concerns of the Greek Cypriot side. The plan was rejected by the Greek Cypriots and approved by the Turkish Cypriots, in separate referenda in 2004.
However, he expressed the expectation that both matters will be overcome, pointing out that the Turkish Cypriot side has already accepted both notions.
Christofias and Talat will meet on Tuesday for the third time since their first encounter in March this year, after Christofias was elected to the Presidency of the Republic. Following that meeting, six working groups and seven technical committees have been set up to discuss day to day concerns as well as core issues to prepare the ground for substantive negotiations between the two leaders towards a political settlement that will reunite Cyprus, which has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.
House President Marios Garoyian said he has reserved expectations as regards the meeting of 1st July between Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, since, as he noted almost everything depends on Turkeyʼs policy.
The Turkish officials continue to express views and positions which are not in line with the international law as well as the principles and values on which the EU is founded, he said, noting that it is clear that Ankara is committed on the issue of virgin birth and on issues that clearly do not contribute to substantial progress and to making clear the basis of the negotiations.
Therefore, he said, the main concern of the international players is to put pressure on Turkey to clear its positions as regards the basis of the negotiations along the same lines on which the international community is moving all these years.
House President further pointed out that in addition to Turkeyʼs intentions, progress must be made at the level of the working groups, something, he noted, that does not seem to have happened in most of them.
“It is for this reason, for which we insist that the key for any positive development is in Ankara. And it is exactly there, where the international factor should focus its attention and movements”, he noted.
Noting that the international factor is interested in the resumption of negotiations the soonest, Garoyan said that the most important issue is the basis on which these negotiations will begin and the progress which must take place at the working groups, as provided by the 8th July Agreement, the UN resolutions and the EU decisions.
He also said that the Greek Cypriot side is making efforts with prudence and on the basis of international law and the relevant UN resolutions. “I donʼt think”, he said, ”that anyone can doubt about the good intentions and the will of Cypriot President Christofias.”