President Nicos Anastasiades briefed Monday parliamentary party leaders on the difficulties encountered in efforts to resume the Cyprus peace talks, due to the lack of agreement between the two sides on the content of a joint statement by the leaders of the two communities.

Speaking to the press following the meeting at the Presidential Palace, Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides said, inter alia, that the members of the team that will support the Greek Cypriot negotiator on the Cyprus talks are expected to be decided by the end of the week.

Stylianides said that a discussion on developments in the Cyprus problem was held during the meeting, whilst the President briefed party leaders on his latest important meetings with the Greek Prime Minister and the President of the Hellenic Republic during his recent visit to Athens. He also briefed them on his meeting with the UN Secretary General`s Special Advisor on Cyprus.

The Spokesman said that that there was also a discussion on the issues relating to the joint statement of the two leaders, adding that there was a briefing by the Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis.

There was consultation on the establishment of the working groups and the support team of the Greek Cypriot negotiator, following a proposal submitted by the President Anastasiades, he added.

Asked about the difficulties in finalizing the joint statement, Stylianides noted that the Greek Cypriot side insists on the well known basis for the solution of the Cyprus problem as described by UN resolutions which provide for a bizonal bi-communal federation.

“We will wait to see where these consultations end up. The negotiator is in constant contact with the other side and the United Nations,” he said and advised everyone to be patient until the completion of the consultations.

Replying to another question, he said the outcome of the consultations will be discussed either at the level of party leaders or at the National Council level.

Asked whether the Turkish side raises the issues of international conference or timetables in the context of the joint statement, he said the Turkish side raises too many issues, noting that many of the issues raised by the Turkish side have already been made public by Turkish Cypriot officials.

Replying to another question on the start of the talks, he said the position of the National Council is that the Greek Cypriot side will enter a new round of negotiations based on the new circumstances.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Previous UN led efforts to reunify the island have been unsuccessful. New talks are expected to begin soon.

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