AGREEMENT ON a joint declaration which would kickstart a new round of peace talks could be reached today, according to Turkish Cypriot negotiator Osman Ertug.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris yesterday quoted Ertug making the comment after Monday’s meeting and dinner with Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis and UN Special Adviser Alexander Downer.
Ertug said the meeting was positive, adding that the three would meet again today to try and conclude the process of agreeing on a joint declaration that the two leaders would make on finally meeting to launch the peace process.
The Turkish Cypriot negotiator confirmed that different positions of the two sides was causing delays in agreeing to a joint text but that the aim was to bring the two leaders, President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, together so that peace talks could resume.
The Greek Cypriot negotiating team wants the declaration to lay out the basis of the talks and clarify the methodology to be followed. They want to take a holistic approach, looking across all chapters at the same time, while the Turkish Cypriot team wants to continue where they left off when they abandoned the talks in the first half of 2012, in protest at Cyprus’ stint at the helm of the EU presidency.