The Greek Cypriot side expects and is seeking important developments in the Cyprus problem before Cyprus` EU Presidency in the second half of 2012, President Republic Demetris Christofias stressed on Thursday.
Christofias met yesterday with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, in the context of the UN-backed talks for a Cyprus settlement.
In statements after the meeting, Christofias said they continued the discussion on aspects of internal security and they confirmed the convergence on the process and the guidelines of discussions by a special committee on the binding international treaties to apply in a United Cyprus Republic.
The committee will convene soon, he added.
The President said that he and Eroglu will continue the discussion on these issues at their next meeting on Thursday, adding that they will also talk about the way forward with regard to the next meeting with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, expected to take place after the Turkish general elections in the second half of June.
Replying to a question on the UN expectations of the talks until the next meeting with the UN Chief, Christofias said “there is no concrete agenda at present.“
“I believe the UNSG will soon send his messages and we will send our own to the UNSG,“ he added.
Responding to a question whether the timing of the next meeting with the UN Chief is appropriate, given that the UNSG had indicated that he awaits something concrete in the talks before convening the meeting, Christofias said the UNSG believes that it would be best for the meeting to take place ater the elections in Turkey.
“I do not think there will be a clear picture of the Turkish stance following the elections and we and the Secretary-General would like to discuss the way forward,“ he went on to say.
Responding to other questions, the President said “we know what to say to the UNSG and what to say to our interlocutors in the presence of the UNSG.“
Asked about a possible shift in Ankara’s stance on the question of Cyprus, Christofias replied: “I think we have some positive moves on issues relating to the EU and the economy, as well as on the issues of internal security,“ adding that this does not means that he considers that the issue of internal security has been completed.
He clarified that there are serious matters, for which the discussion must continue.
“The talks are difficult and their pace or the pace with which convergences are achieved is not what it should be,“ he pointed out, adding that this is due to the Turkish elections.
“We expect Turkey to take decisions after the elections if it wants the Cyprus problem solved,” he added.
Stressing that the Greek Cypriot side is ready for a solution and that it has all the good will to reach that goal, Christofias said that the Greek Cypriot side`s stance on the talks has not changed in spite of May’s parliamentary elections.
“As I have said, we expect Turkey to send us a positive message because the EU Cyprus Presidency is approaching and if we are to achieve something important, I believe it should be before the start of the Presidency. This is expected by the UN and the EU but above all I want to convey the message that we and not the foreigners expect and pursue this goal,“ he concluded.
UN-backed direct negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus problem began in September 2008. Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.