Cyprus Mail
CyprusCyprus Talks

‘Briefcase of surprises’ as negotiators head for Athens and Ankara

Chief negotiators Andreas Mavroyiannis (l), and Kudret Ozersay

By Jean Christou

THE chief negotiators for the two sides hold separate senior-level meetings in Athens and Ankara today as part of a new facet to the latest round of Cyprus talks.

Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis will be in Ankara and Turkish Cypriot negotiator Kudret Ozersay will be in Athens.

In an interview with Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, published yesterday, Ozersay said he was carrying a briefcase “full of surprises” with him.

Saying he knew the Greek Cypriot side would be bringing up the issues of the fenced off ghost town of Varosha, Turkish troops, settlers and guarantees during Mavroyiannis’ Ankara visit, Ozersay said the Turkish Cypriot side too had made its preparations.

“The Greeks will learn about the files that my briefcase has inside when I arrive in Athens. It is a briefcase full of surprises,” he said.

Ozersay said it would be the first time in 55 years that a Turkish Cypriot negotiator would be in Athens. The last one who visited Greece was the late Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in 1959.  Also, he said, Archbishop Makarios was the last Greek Cypriot leader to visit Ankara in 1962.

Ozersay is set to meet the General Secretary of the Greek Foreign Ministry, Anastassis Mitsialis, while Marvoyiannis will meet with the Undersecretary of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Feridun Sinirlioglu.

Asked whether he thought there might be more such meetings, Ozersay said it depended on the outcome of today’s meetings, but it was very important in the future  that the visits took place on the same level, he said.

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