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Anastasiades due to talk by phone with Ban

The UNSG Ban Ki-moon, remains confident that a settlement for the Cyprus problem can be reached

President Nicos Anastasiades was due to hold a phone conversation with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday afternoon to determine the Greek Cypriot side’s next move on the Cyprus problem.

Government spokesman Christos Stylianides told reporters following a meeting of party leaders at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday that the President had asked to speak with Ban.

Present at the meeting was Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis.

“The President’s consultation with the party leaders, in the presence of the negotiator’s legal support team, which began on Saturday, was completed today,” Stylianides said.

Ban and Anastasiades were due to speak at 3pm, the spokesman said.

In response to the UN Secretary General’s recent comments that there had been significant progress regarding a joint statement, Stylianides said that the subject of ‘significant progress’ had been repeated on many occasions.

“We will wait for the final result. I have said in the past that when it comes to the Cyprus problem we can be very close but also very far from any developments,” he said.

He said the President and Ban would discuss the joint statement but it was also likely other topics regarding the issue would be discussed. This was in response to whether Anastasiades would bring up the role of the UN’s Special Advisor Alexander Downer during their conversation. Downer irked the government last weekend by meeting Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at the Turkish ‘embassy’ in the north. A complaint was filed with the UN.

“The President does not intend to discuss any other matters other than those relating to negotiations between the two sides during his conversation with the UN Secretary General,” Stylianides said.

He added that the Greek Cypriot side has always had a constructive attitude towards drafting a joint statement.

“We insist that if the other side show’s their willingness then we can be very close. It is a matter for them as we have shown our constructive attitude which is how we will continue,” he said.

Stylianides refused to comment on whether a counter-proposal had been handed over by the Turkish Cypriot side regarding the joint statement.

“I do not want to get into a discussion that could cause problems with the negotiations. Our attitude is constructive, we insist that negotiations need to begin as soon as possible on a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem which will depend on the decisions taken by everyone,” he concluded.

Anastasiades initially argued for a joint declaration to precede fully-fledged negotiations so as to clarify once and for all the positions of the Turkish Cypriots and Ankara on a future reunified state, particularly whether they agree to it having a single international personality, citizenship and sovereignty.


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