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Cyprus Talks

Anastasiades to address public on ‘decentralised federation’, no mobiles yet (Update 2)

A national council meeting has been scheduled for November 12 so that President Nicos Anastasiades can brief party leaders over the latest developments in the Cyprus problem.

Prior to the council meeting, Anastasiades will address the public on Tuesday to inform them about the idea for a decentralised federation as a model for reuniting the island.

Government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said the national council meeting was initially scheduled for this Monday, but some party leaders could not make it.

Anastasiades will be briefing the leaders about his meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci last Friday, and UN envoy Jane Holl Lute on Wednesday.

Prodromou said Anastasiades and Akinci could meet anew on November 12 if the two sides strike an agreement over telephone connections. So far there was nothing concrete on the matter, the spokesman said.

The Dherynia and Lefka crossings are scheduled to open on the same day.

Asked whether there had been a meeting on Thursday on the phone connectivity issue, Prodromou said he had no information on the matter.

But unnamed government sources later told the Cyprus News Agency that the matter did come up during a meeting attended by Andreas Mavroyiannis, the Greek Cypriot chief negotiator.

However, no agreement was reached on this confidence-building measure.

Two solutions were proposed: using one SIM card with two mobile phone numbers, or using a GSM mobile phone node based in Luxembourg.

The Turkish Cypriot side rejected the first solution without explanation, the sources said. The second solution was rejected because the system recognised only Turkish mobile companies, but not Turkish Cypriot companies.

Since 2015, when linking of mobile telephony in the south and north of the island was decided there has not been any concrete progress.

Currently, Greek Cypriot mobile phone SIM cards do not work in the north – and vice versa – while calls have to go through Turkey.

The goal was for phones to work on both sides without having to pay international and roaming rates.

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