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Anastasiades says if Turkey plays ball, Geneva could be productive

President Nicos Anastasiades with US ambassador to Cyprus Kathleen Ann Doherty

If Turkey’s rhetoric results in real action, there could be a lot accomplished at a new Geneva meeting, President Nicos Anastasiades said.

Speaking during a reception hosted by Cyprus` Ambassador to US Leonidas Pantelides, for the participants of the PSEKA Conference, the President said he had a fruitful meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

“We are trying to see how a new Geneva will deliver. I am trying my best, as you are doing, in order to see that the freedom of movement, the freedom of establishment, the requisition of property are going to be well secured, so far as we are a European country.  This is what I am fighting for and I do believe that if Turkey’s rhetoric coincides with real actions, we do expect that we might do a lot,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said that Anastasiades’ initiative and the proposals he put forward were the reason Guterres called the meeting on Sunday with the two leaders.

“If Turkey contributes to the process so that progress is achieved in the critical chapter of security and guarantees, the road will be open for progress in the remaining chapters, starting with the fundamental chapter of territory on which there are still significant unresolved issues,” he said, addressing the PSEKA Conference in Washington on Tuesday night.

The spokesman said that during the three-hour long meeting in New York on Sunday, agreement was reached on the need to reconvene the Conference on Cyprus in June, in the same format as on January with the aim to discuss – in a substantial and results oriented manner – the important chapter of security and guarantees.

“All agreed that the chapter on security and guarantees is of vital importance and the progress in this chapter is an essential element in reaching an overall agreement on the Cyprus problem. In this regard, during the coming days the special adviser of the secretary-general will engage with all participants in the preparation of a common document to guide the discussions on security and guarantees,” he added.

“Regarding the way forward, and having in mind what was agreed on Sunday, it is clear that what is of decisive importance is Turkey`s positions on security.”

Christodoulides said the Cyprus issue was at a critical point in time and that the Greek Cypriot side was looking forward to a substantial and results oriented discussion between President Anastasiades and US Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday. This would be a discussion that would not focus on the Cyprus problem but would also touch on the important issues of common concern such as energy, security in the Eastern Mediterranean, terrorism and transatlantic relations.


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