The Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide plans to try and bring the two sides together with the guarantor powers informally during the World Economic Forum in Davos next month, the Cyprus News Agency reported on Sunday.
Eide is the World Economic Forum`s Managing Director, The summit will take place between January 20 and 23 in Davos, Switzerland.
Citing a government source, CNA said President Nicos Anastasiades had been invited to attend the Forum, like last year. Howevet this year, the same source said similar invitations had also been sent to Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and the representatives of the island`s three guarantor powers Greece, Turkey and Britain. Greece has not yet been informed, although Eide is scheduled to meet Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias in Athens, the report said.
A diplomatic source has indicated that Eide plans to bring the guarantor powers together so they can start talks on issues concerning the guarantees. If both leaders were in Davos, then conditions for an informal multilateral conference would exist, the source said.
Earlier on Sunday, Anastasiades, after his last meeting of the year with Akinci, when asked by reporters about a multilateral conference on guarantees said there was no such issue and it was not yet the time for such a move.
The issue of guarantees is as thorny as the property. The Greek Cypriot side and Greece want none but the Turkish side has set its guarantorship as a red line. It was always going to be a feature of the negotiations that a multilateral conference would be held closer to a solution.
Responding to reporters’ questions on Sunday, Anastasiades said: “I was invited and I have accepted an invitation to participate at the meeting in Davos by the organisers but it is not the intention to participate in a multilateral conference. I will participate in an international economic forum which has nothing to with the Cyprus problem, but there will be bilateral meetings [on the sidelines].”
Anastasiades said his final meeting of the year with Akinci in the morning was productive and that they had reviewed the negotiations so far.
Speaking on his return to the presidential palace after the meeting and a joint visit earlier to the anthropological lab of the Committee on Missing Persons with Akinci, Anastasiades said they had discussed property and other matters relating to the Cyprus issue.
“There remain differences, but we have both declared our determination to work in a way that can help us overcome [the differences] and to understand of the concerns of each of the two communities,” he said.
“We are at a stage of understanding the difficulties, but also understanding that we must do to help both sides.”
Asked about how long it would take to resolve the property issue, Anastasiades said the negotiations were not limited to that particular topic to the exclusion of others such as territorial adjustments, guarantees and the timeline for the withdrawal of Turkish troops so a conclusion of the topic could not be determined in isolation.
“What we seek is a comprehensive, overall view of all parameters in order to achieve a sustainable, workable and lasting solution,” he added.
Questioned about territory and the return of Morphou, Anastasiades said though territory had not been discussed indepth as yet, the return of Morphou as per the 2004 Annan plan was a sine qua non for the Greek Cypriots.
An earlier statement from the UN said Anastasiades and Akinci had evaluated negotiations since talks began on May 15, 2015 and expressed their satisfaction with the progress that had been achieved to date. “While acknowledging that the tasks ahead remain difficult, the leaders are determined to maintain the positive momentum with their next meetings,” it added.
The dates have been fixed for January 7, 14 and 29.