By Jean Christou
As the negotiators for the two sides met yesterday under UN auspices, President Nicos Anastasiades was meeting Turkish Cypriot politicians from one of the smaller parties in the north.
The meeting was held at the presidential palace.
Anastasiades held discussions with Cemal Ozyigit leader of the Turkish Cypriot Social Democratic Party (TDP), along with Deniz Birinci, and Zeki Celer, also TDP members.
After the meeting, Ozyigit told journalists he hoped the negotiations would enter a new phase starting on September 2, when the two leaders, Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, are due to meet after the summer break to try and resume the stalled peace process.
Speaking in Turkish through an interpreter, Ozyigit said the TDP delegation had exchanged views with Anastasiades on the Cyprus issue the changes on the political scene in Turkey after Tayyip Erdogan’s election as President. Erdogan is due in Cyprus on Monday.
Ozyigit said he and Anastasiades had also discussed confidence-building measures. He said he supported Anastasiades’ call for the return of the fenced-off ghost town of Varosha, but in return for direct flights to Ercan (Tymbou) airport and trade through Famagusta port.
Meanwhile, the two negotiators, Andreas Mavroyiannis and Kudret Ozersay, met at the United Nations Protected Area at Nicosia airport. It was their first meeting since the break.
According to a brief statement from the UN, the negotiators exchanged views on methodology and the way forward in preparation for the upcoming leaders’ meeting. It also said the UN would hold bilateral meetings with both negotiators in the coming days to continue the preparations for the meeting.
Speaking on his return to the north yesterday, Ozersay said the negotiators’ meeting had lasted four hours and that he and Mavroyiannis had discussed the role of the UN in the next phase, given the appointment last week of Norwegian Espen Barth Eide as the new Special Envoy, and how the talks could be speeded up.
They also discussed how to move forward with the negotiations themselves given the stalemate on the respective positions of the two sides.