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No timeframe for resumption of Cyprus conference

Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides

There is no timeframe for the resumption of the conference on Cyprus at the political level, government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said on Friday.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency a day after the conclusion of the second leg of the conference on Cyprus, which started in Geneva last week at political level but continued this week at technocratic level, Christodoulides said the framework and ideas that came out of the working groups on Wednesday and Thursday “will be brought to the attention of each party’s leaders, at political level, and following assessment, decisions will be made for the resumption of the conference on Cyprus at political level”.

Christodoulides said there is no timeframe with regard to coming to decisions on resuming the conference at political level.

The conference was convened as part of the ongoing effort to reach an agreed settlement of the Cyprus problem, and comprises the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities on the island, the Republic of Cyprus’ three guarantor powers – Greece, Turkey, and the United Kingdom – and the European Union under observer status.

Its aim is to tackle what is known as the ‘international aspect’ of the Cyprus problem, meaning security arrangements and, in case of agreement, guarantees on federal Cyprus’ constitutional order.

The Greek side wants all guarantees abolished and foreign troops withdrawn, to be replaced by an interim presence of a multinational police force.Turkish side insists on maintaining some form of guarantor role for Turkey, though they concede that the existing arrangement from 1960 should be “updated”.

The first leg of the conference, which came together on January 12 in Geneva, decided to continue with working groups at technocratic level.

Meanwhile, Christodoulides said the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot delegations will meet informally on Friday, in the presence of the United Nations, “for a broader discussion of what has been said over the last two days”.

President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, the heads of the two communities, will probably meet again – for the first time since Geneva – on Thursday, in the context of the UN-backed talks.

With regard to the technocratic working group talks at Mont Pelerin, Switzerland, the government spokesman said “a framework is being drafted that will include the proposals of each side for the tools, or the ways of tackling, the issue of security after a solution to the Cyprus problem”.

“The working groups’ mandate, as announced on January 12, was to record specific questions and the tools for the answers to them,” he said.

“Coming to decisions, whether on matters of substance, or on matters of process, was not part of their mandate.”

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