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Cyprus Talks

Leaders to meet up to ten times this month

President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will meet nine or ten times in October to try and reach the greatest possible convergence on existing differences, the former said on Tuesday.

The leaders resumed talks on Tuesday after their return from New York where they met UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and agreed to intensify negotiations.

Speaking after his meeting with Akinci, Anastasiades said if the convergences are achieved the process will enter a new stage, that of discussing territorial adjustments, which could take place in a third country.

The president described Tuesday’s meeting as productive “because we were given the opportunity to go through chapter by chapter, to see existing differences, so that October can be the month of intensive consultations.”

He said the leaders were slated to meet around nine or ten times during the month “so that we can achieve the greatest possible convergence in existing differences.”

If such progress was observed “we would move to another stage, of discussing the fifth chapter which concerns territorial adjustments,” Anastasiades said, adding that there was a probability that the meeting would take place in a third country, due to Akinci’s reservations and concerns.

If that is the case, he said, he would be accompanied by the members of the National Council, the top advisory body on the Cyprus issue, in which parliamentary party leaders take part.

“If we were to observe such progress in the territory chapter, such which would allow, we would potentially move to the next stage, convening a multilateral conference which would focus on the matters of guarantees,” the president added “provided that there is progress in everything discussed.”

Asked whether the issues of security and guarantees would also be discussed in Cyprus, he said the leaders could “have a brainstorming,” adding that the most important thing was to focus on the existing differences so that they could move forward to the 5th chapter, that of territory which is linked to property.

He did not wish to comment on the content of recent interviews given by Akinci that have been somewhat critical of the outcome of the New York meeting and the different interpretations each leader came away with.

“What I note is his [Akinci’s] decisiveness, on the basis of everything I have described, to move forward together to achieve if possible a political, comprehensive solution before the end of 2016, provided that the Turkish Cypriot side – and the Turkish side on matters concerning it – will show the good will expected by all those who proclaim that they desire the definitive solution of the Cyprus problem,” said Anastasiades.

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