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Anastasiades: March Cyprus solution ‘overly optimistic’

UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu

By Jean Christou

THE notion of a Cyprus solution by March is ‘”overly optimistic” President Nicos Anastasiades has said, citing no agreement on timeframes either with the Turkish Cypriot side or with foreign leaders.

Anastasiades was speaking to Greek TV channel ERT in Athens on Tuesday night.

There had been progress in the talks but still many obstacles to overcome and distance to be covered.

“There is a possibility of finding solutions but there are still many details… there are obstacles regarding territorial adjustments, the property issue, the withdrawal of Turkish troops. There is still distance to cover and what is said about March is overly optimistic,” he said.

The Turkish Cypriot side would like to see a solution and referendum by March, or at least before the Greek Cypriot parliamentary elections in May. Anastasiades caused a stir among the political parties at the weekend when he told them during a National Council meeting to prepare for a possible postponement of the elections in case there was a Cyprus solution.

Asked about this by the Greek interviewer, Anastasiades said “there is reserved optimism that there is political will, particularly for Turkey to contribute, moving from words to action, in solving problems we face and which concern her.” Responding to opposition parties’ allegations that he was working towards the dissolution of the Republic he said there was no such issue. It would be an evolution of a unified state to a federal one, he said.

House President Yiannakis Omirou said on Wednesday that Cyprus’ constitution contained no provision for the postponement or cancellation of elections. Referring to the postponement of elections in 1965 due to the earlier intercommunal troubles, Omirou said this was done under the Law of Necessity. “What’s the hurry?” he asked. “Let’s agree on a [Cyprus] solution first.”

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci was quoted on Wednesday as saying he would like to see a referendum in the spring. He believes the current chance for a solution would be the last one for the current generation of politicians, he said and that the next generation might opt for living in separate states.

Meanwhile UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide met Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara on Wednesday, according to a tweet he posted. Eide said the two had discussed security and guarantees related to Cyprus, and also developments in the region.

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