President Nicos Anastasiades said on Thursday there were “serious prospects” that long-stalled talks to reunify the island could resume between the estranged Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.
Anastasiades said negotiations between the two sides on drafting a joint communique outlining principles of a settlement were at a “delicate point”.
“Today, it appears serious prospects are being created for a substantive joint communique, which satisfies … the basic principles of the solution of the Cyprus problem,” Anastasiades said during a televised address.
The President said he had briefed the party leaders earlier on the developments and was departing for Athens for talks with the Greek leadership.
“With the conclusion of the consultations, I intend to address the people of Cyprus and inform them analytically, but also in depth, about the actual facts. That is why I avoid commenting on what is being said,” Anastasiades added.
“At the same time, I want to stress that the effort to reach agreement on a joint communiqué is the beginning of a big and arduous effort to at last achieve a solution to the Cyprus problem, and certainly the joint communique is not the end.”
In response to a reporter’s comment that political leaders were requesting he did not move forward with negotiations, the President said: “First, I said that I respect the various views, second, as I have said, I will address the people of Cyprus providing the real dimensions, but also the true content, of the joint communique, based also on the advice that I have from the team of advisors that were proposed to me by the parties.”
Asked if there was a response from the Turkish Cypriot side on the joint communique, the President said: “We don’t have a response. We are at the stage of consultations of a big effort in order to reach agreement on a joint communique. It seems that some concerns that are being expressed by our side, for example, on sovereignty, also preoccupy, in a contrary way, the concerns of the other side.”
Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu was quoted as saying that there had not been a deal on the joint statement.
“Minor but important differences” still exited and negotiations were ongoing to overcome them, Turkish Cypriot press said.
Asked whether the text was still being negotiated, Anastasiades said: “No, as far as our side is concerned we said whatever we had to say and it remains for the other side to respond.”