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Turkey ready to talk security after elections (updated)

File photo Greek Foreign Minister Nicos Kotzias and his Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides address the press

There will be a new effort to resume talks for a settlement of the Cyprus problem after next year’s presidential election, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Tuesday.

Speaking on the sidelines of an event at the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, Anastasiades said several international agents have expressed the wish for the talks to resume.

“I know there are many international stakeholders, including the [United Nations] Secretary-General who have expressed the desire to re-engage in order to contribute to restarting the dialogue,” he said.

“I hear certain remarks by [Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa] Akinci, from which I foresee – and that is my belief, too – that after the election there will be a new initiative.”

Asked to comment on Akinci’s indignant statement that the UN chief was wrong to blame both sides – Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots – equally following the collapse of the latest round of talks at Crans-Montana, Switzerland, last July, Anastasiades repeated his claim that the collapse was owed to Turkey’s refusal to compromise.

“[Akinci] was right in his assessment because the blame was not placed squarely on Turkey and the Turkish side,” he said.

A similar sense that developments may come following elections in the republic, as well as the Turkish-held part of Cyprus was voiced by foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides from Athens.

Turkey, the minister said, is ready to discuss security issues post-solution in Cyprus after the presidential elections in the republic and ‘parliamentary’ elections in the breakaway Turkish Cypriot north, both scheduled for January 2018.

He was speaking after a meeting with his Greek counterpart Nicos Kotzias who briefed him about a recent visit with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

“They said (Turkey) they are ready to discuss the security issues with Greece,” Kasoulides said. “It is what (Greek Prime Minister Alexis) Mr. Tsipras wanted before Crans Montana and it never happened then, which would have helped a lot.”

The minister clarified that Ankara meant after the elections on the island.

The latest round of reunification talks at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana took place between June 28 and July 6 but again ended in deadlock over disagreements on security and guarantees.

 

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