Berlin.- (Cyprus News Agency)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday that he committed to explore with the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and the guarantor powers the possibility to convene an informal five party meeting on Cyprus “at an appropriate stage”, following an informal dinner in Berlin attended by both leaders.
In a statement issued after the end of the 2,5 hour-long dinner, in the German capital, Guterres also notes that the leaders of Cyprus affirmed their commitment to the Joint Declaration of 11 February 2014, the prior convergences, and the six point framework he presented on 30 June 2017 “with a view to achieve a strategic agreement paving the way forward for a comprehensive settlement.”
“This evening I met informally with the leader of the Greek Cypriot Community, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot Community, Mr Mustafa Akıncı, to take stock of efforts toward reaching a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem. Our discussions were focused and frank” says the UN chief in his statement.
He goes on to say that both leaders welcomed his engagement and reaffirmed to him their commitment and determination to achieve a settlement based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality as set out in the relevant Security Council resolutions, including paragraph 4 of UN Security Council Resolution 716 (1991).
“The Turkish Cypriot leader and the Greek Cypriot leader, motivated by a sense of urgency, agreed that achieving a comprehensive and durable settlement to the Cyprus problem within a foreseeable horizon is of utmost importance to the future well-being of both communities and that the status quo is unsustainable,” Guterres says.
He also notes that the Greek Cypriot leader and the Turkish Cypriot leader affirmed their commitment to the Joint Declaration of 11 February 2014, the prior convergences, and the six point framework I presented on 30 June 2017 with a view to achieve a strategic agreement paving the way forward for a comprehensive settlement.
“In view of these discussions, I have agreed to extend my efforts to achieve terms of reference to serve as a consensus starting point for phased, meaningful, and results-oriented negotiations at the earliest feasible opportunity. In this regard, I committed to explore with the Turkish Cypriot leader and the Greek Cypriot leader and with the Guarantor powers the possibility to convene an informal five-plus-UN meeting at an appropriate stage. It is acknowledged that this time must be different” the Secretary-General notes.
He thanks finally the government of the Federal Republic of Germany for its support in facilitating the meeting in Berlin.
President Anastasiades evaluates
Berlin meeting as “a positive first step”
President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades said on Monday that despite difficulties a “positive first step was made”, following the dinner of the UN Secretary-General and the two Cyprus leaders, in Berlin.
Speaking to journalists after the informal meeting, the President referred to a creative effort for deliberations on Monday, on behalf of the negotiators and the UN special envoy Jane Holl Lute.
This, he said, led to a consensus, both with the Secretary-General as well as between the two leaders, with the President pointing to the elements that are included in the statement issued by the UN after the dinner.
Despite the well-known difficulties, the result of today’s meeting is considered a very positive first step in the effort to resume the dialogue, the President noted. He went on to say that he considers as important the fact that Guterres reiterated his decisiveness to continue, together with the leaders of the two Cyprus communities and the guarantor powers, the effort to convene an informal five-part conference, with the mandate to conclude the terms of reference that will allow the resumption of a targeted and creative dialogue that will lead to a viable and functioning solution.
He also noted that it was recorded that the positions of both leaders coincided with regard to the basic parameters that will guide the solution which is being sought after. As the statement says, these include the Joint Declaration of February 2014, the convergences that have been achieved so far and the six-point Guterres framework, the President added.
President Anastasiades said finally that it was self-evident that in order to resume substantial negotiations, apart from reaching an agreement on the terms of reference, Turkey needs to terminate its unlawful activities against the Republic of Cyprus, the threats to open Famagusta for settlement or any threats for fait accomplis in the buffer zone.
Speaking to reporters in Berlin, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said he had a positive trilateral meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and his Greek Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades.
“I believe that today’s meeting has been a positive step forward. We have managed to get the train back on track,” he said.
Akinci underlined the importance of Guterres’ pledge to increase his efforts and facilitate the beginning of negotiations at the earliest feasible opportunity.
“We are not talking about an open-ended process anymore,” Akinci said, adding the talks would be phased, meaningful and results-oriented and aimed at reaching a strategic agreement.
He also expressed hope that a five-party Cyprus conference involving guarantor powers Turkey, Greece and the U.K. would convene in 2020 and pave the way for a settlement.