Cyprus Mail
Cyprus Talks

Leaders put off issue of meeting abroad until next talks session on Wednesday

The decision on where discussions on the thorny issue of territory will take place will likely be made at the next meeting of the leaders of the communities on Wednesday, President Nicos Anastasiades said late Monday.

Speaking on his arrival at the presidential palace following talks with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, Anastasiades said that they had discussed details of how “the various, either freedoms or rights, would be implemented. There was, I must say, relative progress, which needs further discussion.”

“We focused on the essence of what we had before us, rather than determining the location (for carrying out the meetings on territorial issues),” adding “probably this will happen on Wednesday.”

Asked on what dates the territorial issues would be discussed, the president answered “on the 7 to the 11 of November, and likely in Switzerland”

The talks will be held abroad at the insistence of Akinci, who cited the need to avoid leaks.

Though the issue of territory has never been discussed before at the talks, the leaders are at odds over how to resolve it. The Greek Cypriot side is insisting that Morphou comes under the Greek Cypriot constituent state.

Akinci claims it would not be easy to return the area, which has been substantially developed in recent years. It is understood that negotiations on territory – with specific area names and maps to be tabled – are a climactic moment of make-or-break proportion in the talks, on which success in the final stretch hinges.

The extent of territorial concessions – how much of the Turkish-occupied part of the island is to be returned to the Greek Cypriot state – will also crucially impact the outcome of the issue of properties. The more displaced Greek Cypriots are allowed to return to their homes under Greek Cypriot administration, the less will need to be paid out as compensation for lost properties.

The date allows for a few additional sessions between Anastasiades and Akinci in Cyprus, ahead of the transfer of the talks in Switzerland.

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