Nicosia.- (CNA) — President Demetris Christofias has stated that he was not surprised by the proposals on governance and power-sharing Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat has conveyed to him in the context of the ongoing UN-led negotiations.
Speaking after the inauguration of the revamped Leventis Museum, and asked about the Turkish proposals, President Christofias said that he would comment on the proposals at the appropriate time, noting that on Sunday the Informal Party Leaders Council will convene to discuss the proposals.
“Since some of the party leaders did the right thing and refused to make any comment, in anticipation of tomorrow’s meeting, it is not proper for the President of the Republic to make any comment,” he said.
Asked if was surprised by the proposals, President Christofias said “no”.
President Christofias Talat begin on Monday a series of intensive talks aiming at more convergences on governance and power-sharing, the economy and EU matters. They will also continue their discussion on the property issue.
According to reports, the Turkish Cypriots accept the weighted vote or cross voting suggested by the Greek Cypriots but under certain conditions.
Included in the conditions is Turkish nationals wanting to reside on the island will enjoy the four basic freedoms, and there will be two separate flight information regions or FIRs.
It also suggests the rotating presidency to be on a 3:2 ratio – three years for the Greek Cypriot president and two years for the Turkish Cypriot, reports said.
The Turkish Cypriot side also wants the cabinet to be made up of seven Greek Cypriots and five Turkish Cypriots and not six to three as proposed by the Greek Cypriot side.
DIKO said the Turkish Cypriot proposals “effectively torpedoed the negotiations” making absolutely clear the Turkish intransigence.
Party spokesman Fotis Fotiou said the Turkish proposals were outside the defined framework of principles regarding the solution of the Cyprus problem – bizonal, bicommunal federation.
DISY spokesman Haris Georgiades said the proposals were being studied by the party chief and his associates and any views will be expressed during the Sunday meeting.
He was echoed by AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou who said the issues would be studied and the party’s views will be voiced on Sunday.
Kyprianou declined to comment on the specifics of the proposals but warned that any “positions outside the defined framework of principles” will not be accepted.
Meanwhile United Nations Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon encouraged both leaders to “remain committed and show flexibility and leadership.”
In phone calls with Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, Ban said he is convinced that win-win solutions in many different areas are available and he is confident that together both leaders have the political courage and vision required to make progress.
The Cyprus question will be among the issues to be discussed by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davudoglou during a meeting they will have in London on Tuesday, January 12, 2010.
Miliband and Davudoglou will also discuss Turkey’s EU accession course and bilateral relations between Britain and Turkey.
Later on, the Turkish Foreign Minister will give a lecture on “Converging interests of Turkey and the U.K.in an enlarged EU and beyond”, at King’s College.
Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs Miguel Angel Moratinos, whose country currently holds the EU rotating presidency, has said that the Spanish EU Presidency aspires to open four chapters with Turkey in the framework of the later’s EU accession negotiations.
Moratinos also expressed hope that the ongoing UN-led talks aiming at a settlement of the Cyprus problem will bear fruit.
Turkey’s denial to recognize Cyprus, an EU member-state divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion, has resulted in the freeze of eight chapters, while during the December 2009 General Affairs and External Relations Council Cypriot Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou announced that Cyprus reserves the right to block six additional chapters from the total 35 that a candidate state must successfully negotiate prior to membership.
”We have four chapters in mind and we hope to open them,”
Moratinos was quoted as saying speaking to reporters in Madrid.
As regards the Cyprus problem, Moratinos said ”we are trying to get some progress in the talks.”
”We know this is a very hard task, but I hope the negotiations about the future of the island will bear fruit,” he added.