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There can be no interim agreement on the Cyprus problem and this is clear and is not even put forward for discussion, Govenrment Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides has said.

 

In statements after a meeting of the National Council on Thursday, under Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, Christodoulides also assured that there are no dangers from the discussion of the territory issue abroad, since the same process which takes place during the Cyprus talks held in the UN buffer zone, in Nicosia, will be followed abroad as well.

 

Christodoulides noted that the agenda of the National Council`s meeting changed due to a request by the leaders of the parliamentary parties, and instead of discussing issues regarding the EU and the economy, they discussed about the latest developments.

 

He said that the President responded positively to the request of the parliamentary parties, and briefed them on what happened since the previous meeting of the National Council, while answers were given to questions made by all the party leaders.

 

Christodoulides stressed that President Anastasiades takes seriously into consideration the concerns and the views of the parliamentary parties. “We must be particularly cautious. I think that in may occasions statements or interpretations made by the Turkish Cypriot side are being presented or interpreted as agreements being reached at the negotiation table or as positions of the Greek Cypriot side,” he said, adding that this is not the case.

 

The spokesman said that efforts continue and that the President expressed his readiness for continuous deliberations with the parliamentary party leaders. He added that the parliamentary parties will inform the Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis about their representatives, so that the thematic discussion that was agreed during a previous meeting of the National Council can begin.

 

Invited to comment reactions by the parties as regards the discussion of the territory issue abroad, the spokesman said that it would be more preferable if the discussion took place in Cyprus.

 

He noted that what is essential is to discuss at last this important issue, that will be discussed in conjunction with the property issue, and not with the security issue, as was the initial position of the Turkish Cypriot side.

 

He recalled that for a long time everyone said that it is high time to discuss the territory issue and that it is important to do so. “Now we have reached the time to discuss it and I consider that everyone must see the substance,” which is the need to discuss at last this core issue using maps and the names of places.

 

Asked if traveling abroad to discuss the territory issue may jeopardize the whole process, the spokesman said that there are no dangers at all, and explained that the discussion will take place in line with the process which is currently taking place in the defunct Nicosia airport area, with the participation of the two negotiating teams and the UN team.

 

When these meetings are concluded the two leaders will decide if this will take place somewhere abroad. “We are interested in the substance and I am certain that parliamentary parties are also interested in the substance. Because substantive discussion on the territory issue will determine to a great extent the course of the process which is under way,” he added.

 

To a question if a Camp David type of process will take place abroad to discuss the territory issue, he said that the negotiating teams that meet in Nicosia defunct airport, in the UN presence, will travel abroad to discuss the territory issue. “We are not talking about Camp David or Green Tree,” he noted, adding that what the two leaders have discussed is the possibility of holding a discussion on the territory issue, when they decide to do so, abroad.

 

Invited to comment on statements by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci about an interim agreement, Christodoulides stressed that there is no issue for an interim agreement.

 

He recalled that President Anastasiades had put forward at the negotiating table issues which are now being discussed, about the first day of the implementation of the solution, the financial aspect of the solution, aspects which were not discussed in the past.

 

And the reason is because the President of the Republic will not put before the people of Cyprus a plan which will have constructive or other ambiguities, he added.

 

Therefore there is not issue for an interim agreement and the President has made it clear to the parliamentary party leaders that it is a mistake to interpret or present statements made by the Turkish Cypriot side as things that have been agreed at the negotiating table, or as something that has been accepted by the Greek Cypriot side. No one speaks on behalf of the Greek Cypriot side, he noted.

 

Asked about the meeting to be held on Friday between Anastasiades and Akinci, in the framework of the UN-led talks, the spokesman said that they will discuss issues concerning the four chapters, the Governance, the Economy, adding there are plenty of aspects that need to be discussed where there is disagreement or a different approach.

 

Replying to another question, the spokesman said that they have not determined how much time will be needed for any chapter to close and that there is no time-table or arbitration.

 

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Anastasiades and Akinci have been engaged in UN-led talks since May last year, with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.

 

CNA/TK/MK/GCH 2016

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