Cyprus Mail
Cyprus Cyprus Talks

Party leaders briefed on resumption of talks

By Elias Hazou

Most party leaders on Wednesday hailed the resumption of reunification talks following their briefing by President Nicos Anastasiades, although the so-called rejectionist camp typically sought to pick holes in the new peace drive.

The President called the gathering to inform the politicians of his impressions from his first meeting with new Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, and promised to keep them updated on the progress of peace talks, set to re-start this Friday after a seven-month hiatus.

The President and the party leaders exchanged views during the meeting, which the deputy government spokesman later described as having taken place “in an excellent climate.”

Before the confab got underway, Anastasiades held a brief one-on-one meeting with AKEL chief Andros Kyprianou.

Speaking to reporters after the leaders’ gathering, Kyprianou said his party fully supports the peace talks, and would contribute positively to the process.

In a written statement later, DISY head Averof Neophytou said Akinci’s election opens a window of opportunity to resolve the island’s decades-long dispute.

DISY was the only party on this side which in 2004 came out in favour of a UN peace plan, ultimately rejected by the majority of Greek Cypriots in a referendum that same year.

DIKO likewise welcomed the resumption of talks, though the gesture seemed desultory at best.

“We hope there shall be no repeat of the lopsided concessions from us, binding us without any gains,” leader Nicholas Papadopoulos said.

His party, he added, still believes the negotiations are framed wrongly.

“The basis for these negotiations are the joint communique, the Christofias-Talat convergences and the [Alexander] Downer document. Combined, all these merely constitute a rehash of the Annan Plan,” Papadopoulos noted.

EDEK’s Marinos Sizopoulos reiterated that his party rejects any settlement that will grant foreign powers intervention rights over Cyprus.

The socialist party is currently veering toward outright denunciation of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation as the model for a settlement.

In a similar vein, the Greens’ George Perdikis expressed doubts as to the chances of success, given that international movers and shakers were not applying sufficient pressure on Turkey, a key stakeholder in the Cyprus issue.

“Mr. Akinci’s smile alone is not enough to achieve a solution,” he commented.

Also on Wednesday, AKEL’s Kyprianou met with the leadership of the Turkish Cypriot pro-solution Communal Democracy Party.

The two agreed to set up joint working groups as of next week to share views on the various aspects of the Cyprus problem.

Cemal Ozyigit, leader of the Communal Democracy Party, said the establishment of the working groups signals the launch of a pro-settlement campaign by each party among their respective constituencies in the north and the south.


Akinci names team

MUSTAFA Akinci on Wednesday announced the members of his negotiation team, which apart from negotiator Ozdil Nami, also includes Baris Burcu who is Akinci’s representative. Also in the team are Erhan Ercin and Serdac Guven, both officials of the ‘ministry’ of Foreign Affairs in the north.

Excerpt for Guven, who will be keeping the minutes of the team, all other members will be permanent. Akinci announced that depending on the issues discussed, other members will be added to the team.

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