A four-party conference on the Cyprus issue is not on the cards, President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades has stressed, according to Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides.

Speaking to reporters after the President briefed the National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus issue, on his contacts in the US last week, the Spokesman also said there was consensus among Council members.

In his remarks, Stylianides said the briefing referred to the President’s address at the UN General Assembly, the “very important meeting” with US Vice President Joe Biden and all the contacts he has on Cyprus.

The President, said Stylianides, “provided clarifications on the agreement between Greece and Turkey to hold meetings with the Turkish Cypriot and the Greek Cypriot negotiators respectively”.

The President, said Stylianides, “clarified and insisted that it was never raised and there is no issue of holding a four-party conference, something that was clarified by Greece’s Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos”.

Turkey has often insisted that Ankara, Athens and the two communities in Cyprus must sit around the table on an equal par to reach agreement on a Cyprus solution. The government of the Republic of Cyprus does not subscribe to this idea.

“President Anastasiades insisted that since we accept that the key to a solution in Cyprus lies with Ankara, we should find a way to involve Turkey in the negotiating procedure,” Stylianides added.

This, he said, “will enable the negotiator of the Greek Cypriot side to confer with the Turkish Foreign Ministry, something that sends a significant message to the international community”.

Regarding the meeting this morning of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot negotiators, Stylianides said that according to the Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis, the meeting was interrupted due to obligations of the Turkish Cypriot negotiator and will resume tomorrow, Thursday.

Asked if the leaders of the two communities are heading towards a meeting at the end of October, Stylianides said that what the Greek Cypriot side is interested in is the substance and not the procedure for the sake of the procedure.

“It is not right to enter a dialogue for the sake of a dialogue. We are interested in engaging in a dialogue that will produce results. That is the fundamental political position of the Cyprus government”, he stressed.

“Through our negotiator, we are negotiating with the other side to reach a consensus on issues of methodology and anything else that concerns the resumption of the dialogue, even at the leaders’ level,” he concluded.

Later this afternoon, President Anastasiades will talk to the press about his contacts in the US.

Cyprus was divided in 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Previous UN led efforts to reunite the country have failed.  A fresh round of talks is expected to resume in the autumn.

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