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Leaders agree to seek convergences

UN special representative Lisa Buttenheim with President Anastasiades

By George Psyllides

TURKISH Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu has agreed to submit proposals on all aspects of all core issues of the Cyprus problem during yesterday’s meeting he had with President Nicos Anastasiades.

Sources said that during the meeting Anastasiades submitted a document with 14 proposals on confidence building measures (CBMs).

Eroglu gave a verbal account of a number of proposals on CBMs and said he would be submitting a written document later on in the day.

The two leaders are expected to discuss the CBMs during their next meeting on Monday.

Anastasiades also proposed that each side prepares a list of all aspects and of pinpointing where each feels there are
convergences, where the two sides are close to a convergence and where they have substantial differences.

The Turkish Cypriot leader is said to have replied that he will think about it.

Anastasiades also urged that all sides should avoid a “blame game” approach in their public statements.

One thing Anastasiades and Eroglu agreed on was to jointly visit the forensic lab of the Committee on Missing Persons that has been identifying the remains of war victims from both communities.

“The leaders agreed to jointly visit the anthropological laboratory of the Committee on Missing Persons on a date to be agreed in the near future,” UN special representative Lisa Buttenheim said.

The UN official said the two leaders engaged in a discussion on the substance of the negotiations and on methodology, and exchanged views and proposals on confidence building measures and technical committees.

The CMP is tasked with determining the fates of 2,001 people – 1,508 Greek Cypriots and 493 Turkish Cypriots – missing since the inter-communal strife in the 1960s and the Turkish invasion in 1974.

Excavations and exhumations on both sides of the island started in 2006.

So far, the remains of 396 Greek Cypriots and 125 Turkish Cypriots have been identified and returned to their families.

The CMP employs a bi-communal forensic team of more than 60 Cypriot archaeologists, anthropologists and geneticists, who conduct excavations throughout the island and anthropological and genetic analyses of remains at the CMP Anthropological Laboratory.

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