The terms of reference have already been agreed on August 9, President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades said on Wednesday. He also said that he tries to maintain a friendly climate with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, and that he told the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that he is determined for a just and viable Cyprus settlement.

Following a Cabinet meeting at the Presidential Palace, President Anastasiades was called to comment on Akinci’s statements that he is engaging in a blame game. Replying to reporters, the President said that until today he has never blamed Akinci for a series of setbacks, in an effort to maintain a good and friendly relation with him.

He said, moreover, that during his meeting with Guterres, last week in New York, he made clear his intention, resoluteness, and irrevocable political will to work for a Cyprus settlement, as he did in Crans Montana. The solution, he went on, should be acceptable by both communities in Cyprus and should above all be functioning and viable, with the creation of a state that is free from dependencies and guardians.

Asked about the terms of reference and if UN envoy Jane Holl Lute is expected to come back to Cyprus, the President noted that the terms had been agreed with the Turkish Cypriot leader on August 9. “They were confirmed during the first day after Lute’s arrival, who was informed about the convergencies achieved and who prepared a short statement at our request” he added.

“Now if some people back down, if some people ask for the inclusion of predetermined positions, I am very sorry but I can not keep up” the President concluded.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The last round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

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