President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades has announced that UN-backed peace talks for the reunification of the island will be resumed immediately and that a multilateral conference will take place on January 12th in Geneva.
In November the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus , namely President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci had two rounds of talks in Mont-Pelerin, Switzerland, on territory. The UN had announced at the end of the talks that despite their best efforts, the two leaders were not able to achieve the necessary further convergences on criteria for territorial adjustments that would have paved the way for the last phase of the talks.
Speaking to the press upon his arrival at the Presidential Palace following a dinner hosted by UNSG`s Special Advisor for Cyprus Espen Barth Eide, in the participation of Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, UNSG`s Special Representative in Cyprus Elizabeth Spechar and the negotiators of the two sides, Andreas Mavroyiannis and Ozdil Nami, President Anastasiades said that the talks resume immediately and will be intensified on all chapters.
He added that a meeting will take place on the 9, 10 and 11 of January in Geneva where on the 11th, maps will be put on the table on the territorial aspect of the solution. He added that on the 12th a conference will take place on the Cyprus issue with the participation of the guarantor powers and any other involved parties needed.
He added that from now until January 9th, the leaders and their negotiators will carry on their meetings.
President Anastasiades said after the dinner, which lasted more than four hours, that they had the chance to review the developments to date and the problems encountered and following a productive talk, they reached the decision for the resumption of the talks.
Replying to a question , the President said that from now until Janurary 9th, the dialogue will be intensified with the aim to bridge the gaps and the disagreements that exist . He said that the talks will be on all six chapters of the Cyprus issue in an interdependent manner so that we manage to yield more progress and to finally reach a final stage that will lead either to a successful outcome or if there is no room for that, for each of the sides to know the course to be followed.
President Anastasiades reaffirmed once again his determination, saying that he has seen determination from the Turkish Cypriot side as well, to create fertile ground to reach a successful outcome.
Replying to another question as to what is going to happen on January 12th if we don`t manage to conclude on all pending issues, he said that we will not have the desired outcome.
He went on to say that there is great room to conclude on the majority of the issues and therefore during the three-day meeting in Geneva to reach the desired outcome for the benefit of both communities.
Meanwhile, according to a statement by the UN Spokesperson, `tonight, the Greekt Cypriot leader, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Mustafa Akıncı, met at the Head of Mission’s Residence in the UN Protected Area (UNPA) under the auspices of the Special Adviser of the Secretary General (SASG) on Cyprus, Mr. Espen Barth Eide`.
He adds that the two leaders assessed the state of play of the negotiations and exchanged views on the way forward.
“The leaders have decided to immediately re-engage in their negotiations and have instructed their negotiators to continue meeting in order to achieve further progress on all outstanding issues interdependently. The leaders will also meet as required”.
Furthermore, he notes that in line with their joint resolve to reach a comprehensive settlement as soon as possible, they further decided that they will meet in Geneva on the 9th of January 2017.
`On the 11th of January, they will present their respective maps. From the 12th of January, a Conference on Cyprus will be convened with the added participation of the guarantor powers. Other relevant parties shall be invited as needed” he concludes.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Τhe leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, namely President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have been engaged in UN-backed talks since May last year, with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.