President Nicos Anastasiades met on Monday night with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, in order to coordinate their moves ahead of meetings they will have throughout the week-long proceedings.
In statements after the meeting, Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said that the position of the Greek government was clear, adding that the solution of the Cyprus problem could not include foreign guarantees and foreign troops in a member state of the EU.
He said the proposal submitted by the president at the negotiating table offered the necessary safeguards for Cypriots and provided answers to any concerns.
Christodoulides said Anastasiades and Tsipras had also discussed the possibility of a multilateral conference.
But such a meeting, the spokesman said, “cannot take place unless we are close to a solution and there is progress on all chapters so that if such a conference is convened it can have a positive outcome.”
He also said that during their meeting, Anastasiades and Tsipras acknowledged the significant progress achieved so far in some issues at the negotiating table.
The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and Greek Foreign Minister Nicos Kotzias.
On Tuesday Tsipras is expected to meet US Vice President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Theresa May while the Greek Foreign Minister will hold a meeting with UNSG`s Special Advisor for Cyprus Espen Barth Eide.
Anastasiades is due to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at 6pm Cyprus time.
On Monday, Anastasiades, during a working lunch, also briefed the representatives of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
Citing diplomatic sources, CNA said the president gave a detailed briefing on each of the negotiating chapters, making special reference to the Greek Cypriot proposals on the issue of security.
He also explained the reasons why he did not wish to submit to the people a settlement plan that includes guarantees.
Anastasiades called on the P5 to assist in issues that are outside the Greek Cypriot side`s competency such as the economy, and referred to an IMF report and the many issues pending for the conclusion of that report.
The same sources said he appeared cautiously optimistic at the lunch but stressed at the same time that everybody should be very careful and refrain from taking any hasty action, such as convening a multilateral conference or any other failed practices of the past like arbitration and setting time-frames.
If a multilateral conference takes place without meeting the necessary preconditions, it was pointed out, it would fail and along with it the entire peace process, the same sources said.
Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci who is also in the US said no one should expect miracles from the New York contacts. The two leaders are due to meet the secretary-general on Sunday.
Akinci said he would like to see the New Yok meeting open the way for the final stages of the talks and this was the main objective right now.
The reality, he said, is that there has been good progress particularly on four chapters “but there are still issues, some important and some technical to be solved”.
He also said that if the objectives pursued by the two leaders to come up with a political framework agreement in 2016 is achieved, some issues could be resolved within the first months of 2017.