Talks between the two leaders, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will be intensive in October with a view to reaching the greatest possible convergence on existing differences, President Anastasiades has said, noting that if that is achieved then the process will enter a new stage, that of discussing territorial adjustments which could take place in a third country.
President Anastasiades was replying to journalists` questions upon his return at the Presidential Palace after his first meeting with Akinci following their joint meeting in New York, in September, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The two leaders have been engaged in talks since May 2015 in the framework of a UN brokered process aiming to reunite Cyprus, which has been divided since Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third in 1974.
The President described the meeting as productive “because we were given the opportunity to go through chapter by chapter, to see existing differences, so that October can be the month of intensive consultations.”
He said that the dialogue will be intensified, adding that they are set to meet about nine or ten time “so that we can achieve the greatest possible convergence in existing differences.”
Cyprus` President continued noting that if such progress was observed “we would move to another stage, of discussing the fifth chapter which concerns territorial adjustments,” adding that there is a probability that the meeting would take place in a third country, due to Akinci`s reservations and concerns.
If that is the case, he pointed out that he would be accompanied by the members of the National Council, the top advisory body on the Cyprus issue, in which parliamentary party leaders take part.
If, President Anastasiades continued, we were to observe such progress in the territory chapter, such which would allow, we would potentially move to the next stage, convening a multilateral conference which would focus on the matters of guarantees.”
All this, he noted, “provided that there is progress in everything discussed.”
Asked whether the matters of security and guarantees will also be discussed in Cyprus, he replied that they could “have a brainstorming,” adding that the most important thing is to focus on the existing differences so that we are allowed to move forward to the 5th chapter, that of territory which is also always linked with the chapter on property.
He did not wish to comment on the content of interviews Akinci has given since their New York meeting, pointing out that “I will not comment, just as I haven’t commented on any interviews to date.”
What I note, he said, “is his decisiveness, on the basis of everything I have described, to move forward together to achieve if possible a political, comprehensive solution before the end of 2016, provided that the Turkish Cypriot side – and the Turkish side on matters concerning it – will show the good will expected by all those who proclaim that they desire the definitive solution of the Cyprus problem.”