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Progress depends on Turkey says Anastasiades

Progress at the conference on Cyprus, scheduled to start in Switzerland on June 28, depended on Turkey, said President Nicos Anastasiades on Sunday.

Speaking at a memorial service for fighters of Spilia-Kourdalia, Anastasiades said that everything depended on Turkey’s will on the issues of security, guarantees and territory.

Regarding the Conference that will be held at the Swiss resort Crans-Montana, Anastasiades believed negotiations on security and guarantees had to be structured in accordance to international law, to ensure the full independence of an EU Member State.

“Therefore, any conditions set, I do not think they are helping us in what we are seeking to achieve,” Anastasiades said.

Above all, he said, goodwill is necessary “especially from those who are primarily responsible for key issues such as guarantees, security, territorial adjustments, etc.”

If there was goodwill there would be a good result, Anastasiades said, putting full responsibility for the outcome of the conference on Turkey.

The conference, he said, could not deal with anything other than issues pertaining to the participants, namely the three guarantors, the two communities, the Republic of Cyprus and the EU. He added that parallel talks on the other issues would not begin on the same date as the negotiations on security.

Commenting on the recent statements of the Turkish Cypriot side that the Greek Cypriot position for zero guarantees and zero troops would lead to a stalemate, Anastasiades said that all sides should show restraint in view of the fact that the Switzerland talks are drawing closer.

“We are going to Switzerland determined to negotiate so that we can reach a solution that is acceptable to both communities, based on a number of alternative suggestions that can satisfy everyone’s sense of security” he said.

UN Special Advisor Espen Barth Eide is working on the drafting of a document which would be a guideline for the discussions on the security and guarantees chapter. It is expected to incorporate each side’s respective position on the issue as outlined in Geneva and Mont Pelerin.

Anastasiades is scheduled to meet on Wednesday the European Council President Donald Tusk in Brussels on the sidelines of the EU Summit.  According to CNA they are to discuss developments in the Cyprus talks ahead of the Conference in Switzerland, Euro-Turkish relations and the Brexit negotiations.

A National Council meeting, at which Anastasiades will brief party leaders ahead of the conference is scheduled for Monday.

The Conference on Cyprus in which the two communities and the three guarantor powers will participate – the EU will have observer status – and will reconvene in Crans-Montana on June 28, is considered the critical, final phase of the current UN peace process which began in May 2015.

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