Cyprus Mail
Cyprus Cyprus Talks

‘Still plenty of time and distance to cover’, president says

President Nicos Anastasiades said on Sunday there was plenty of time and distance to cover yet on the talks so that a solution could be found that was acceptable to both communities.

Anastasiades was speaking on the sidelines of a charity event in Nicosia when he was asked to comment on statements reportedly made by UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide in Brussels.

According to Phileleftheros on Sunday, Eide was telling EU officials there could be a solution by the end of 2015 and separate referenda by March 2016. In response he made a reference to “crystal balls” and “timeframes”  then called for “seriousness” when it came to dialogue about the negotiation.

“There is distance and time for us to cover yet,” he said.

Commeting on statements by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci after his meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon late Friday in New York, about separate majorities, Anastasiades said it did not mean that whatever Akinci said would be adopted. “Each expresses his own positions,” he said.

“The effort is to find a way to minimise the differences, which today may seem big, as happened with a number of issues in the past where there was a gap in views, but in the end there are convergences,” he added.

Akinci in his statements after meeting Ban said convergences had been reached on a number of issues relating to governance and power-sharing, EU matters and economy.

“Now we are entering into areas which seem to be a bit more controversial such as property, territory, security and guarantees,” Akinci said

And, even though he said “we don’t speak of timeframes”, Akinci said he hoped the solution would be agreed soon. “I am convinced it will be a matter of months and not years,” he said.

Anastasiades made his comments on Sunday during his attendance at the International Bazaar annual charity event for the Christos Stelios Ioannou Foundation, for people with special needs.

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