President Nicos Anastasiades said on Friday he had tabled a creative proposal that would break the current impasse and pave the way for a settlement, as reunification talks had reached a critical juncture.
Addressing the 127th session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the president said talks had achieved some positive results in the chapters of governance and power-Sharing, economy, EU, and to a lesser extent the chapter of Property.
But substantial differences remained, which were directly linked to the island’s capacity as an EU member-state, and the need for a reunited Cyprus to be a truly independent state, with a functional system of governance that will be viable and lasting; fostering peace, prosperity and a sense of security among all Cypriots.
“Currently, we have reached a critical juncture in the process, since discussions are underway for the next steps forward,” he said. “Within this context, I have put forward a creative proposal as to the methodology we could adopt that would allow us to finally break the current impasse, bridge the differences, and establish the parameters, through a sequential approach to constructive negotiations to reach a comprehensive settlement on the Cyprus Problem.”
Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci failed to chart a clear-cut way forward on Wednesday in what was the last of four scheduled meetings, which the UN was hoping might lead to a deal or an understanding for a new Geneva-style conference.
Akinci on Thursday accused the Greek Cypriot side of lacking goodwill and setting preconditions instead of tabling constructive proposals. He repeated this position on Friday.
Espen Barth Eide, the UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, engaged in shuttle diplomacy on Thursday but to no avail.
Before departing the island last night, he said both sides were ready to move into the “final phase” of Cyprus talks, but there were still some pending issues.
Eide is expected to return next week.