The Cyprus issue in view of the new round of direct talks expected to begin in the next months as well as energy matters were on the agenda of the talks Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades held with the Greek Premier Antonis Samaras in Athens.

The President is paying a one-day visit to the Greek capital and is returning home later tonight.

During the meeting, the two leaders assessed the results of their recent talks in the US as well as Samaras’ trip to Israel.

In statements to the press after the meeting, the President expressed his determination to work “methodically and systematically” to ensure that the new round of negotiations will lead to a solution which will safeguard that the present state which will evolve into a federal state is in line with whatever emanates from Cyprus’ capacity as an EU member.

The Greek Premier said that the solution needs to be based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation and has to be put to a referendum.

He said that the state must have one international personality, one sovereignty and a single citizenship.

Referring to his visit to the US and Israel, the Greek Premier said he discussed with his interlocutors the new upgraded role that Greece and Cyprus can play in the region in view of recent developments relating to the discovery of natural gas reserves.

In his statements, the Cyprus President expressed his appreciation for Greece’s firm and continuous support to the Cyprus issue, adding that during the talks with the Greek leadership, he had the chance to assess the results of his meetings to New York and Washington and that Samaras briefed him about his contacts in New York and Tel Aviv.

President Anastasiades said that despite the current economic difficulties Cyprus is faced with, he is determined to work with all his might so that the new round of talks is well-prepared and it will give hope that there are prospects for a solution which will safeguard the human rights of all Cypriots.

He said the aim is to both safeguard the human rights and also have a functional and viable state that will be able to survive in the EU.

The President stressed that it is more important to prepare the negotiations properly than to focus on the time of the resumption of the talks. This, he added, will avoid using past methods which did not yield results.

He said that a new impetus is needed, adding that the Confidence Building Measures the Greek Cypriot side has put forward lead to this end.

The Cyprus President referred to his proposal on the return of the fended-off town of Famagusta, which he said, will give the chance to the Greek Cypriot to gain trust in the dialogue itself and in Turkey and it will also bring the two communities together to work for the reconstruction of the town.

Referring to the appointment of a negotiator by the Greek Cypriot side, the President expressed his belief that it will bring Turkey to the negotiating table for the first time after the 1974 invasion and that Turkey will be hold accountable for all the proposals put forward, whether these are compatible with the acquis communautaire and the content of the solution.

The Cyprus President said that the objective is for the two sides to agree on a joint statement the soonest, before the resumption of the talks. He said that the statement will include the content of the solution and what the two sides aim for.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. A new round of UN-backed talks between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots is expected to begin soon with the aim to reunite the island under a federal roof.

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