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Cyprus Talks

Leaders agree on new property commission to handle individual cases (Update 4 adds Akinci comment)

President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci on Monday agreed on the creation of an independent property commission to handle the thorny issue under a solution, UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide said.

They both agreed that the individual’s right to property would be respected and people would be offered different options to make sure this right was fulfilled.

“The leaders… continued to make progress towards their common vision for a united Cyprus,” Eide said. “The positive and results oriented climate of the talks continue to foster the progress required towards conclusion of a settlement as soon as possible.”

He said the meeting focused on issues of property and criteria on territory. Regarding property, the leaders agreed that the individual’s right to property is respected, Eide said, adding that there would be different alternatives for the regulation of the exercise of this right.

“Dispossessed owners and current users shall have various choices regarding their claims to affected properties” Eide said.

These different choices would include compensation, exchange and reinstatement. The exercise of any such choice would be subject to agreed criteria. He said there would be a list of categories of affected properties. “There shall be an independent property commission mandated to resolve property claims based on mutually agreed criteria,” Eide added.

This property commission would be comprised of an equal number of Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot members.

During the meeting, the leaders also welcomed the reappointment of Pieter Van Nuffel as the Personal Representative of the President of the European Commission to the UN Good Offices Mission in Cyprus.

They were also briefed on the informal consultations held with the United Nations Security Council last week.

Eide also confirmed that Anastasiades and Akinci would attend a concert at the recently-renovated Othello Tower in Famagusta in the north on Tuesday night, which has drawn some fire from the Greek Cypriot political arena. The UN Special Adviser will also attend.

He said the leaders would break for August and meet again on September 1 with their next meeting after that scheduled for September 14.

In the meantime the negotiators would “continue to meet intensively”, Eide said.

Over the coming days they would also have joint sessions with the Working Groups on European Union matters, property and the economy “to more effectively guide their work,” he added.

On his return to the presidential palace Anastasides said the talks continued in a good climate and that the announcement made by the UN special adviser “speaks for itself”.

Akinci said after the meeting that the months between September and the end of the year would be important and said he was convinced the leaders could reach a solution in that time.

“The months from the Autumn until the end of the year are important. If we continue with the same determination and will, I still have the belief that we can reach a solution within months, not years,” he said.

Like Anastasiades, Akinci said Monday’s meeting had taken place in a positive climate.



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