By Lizzy Ioannidou
At an informal meeting held on Friday with Republican Turkish Party (CTP) representatives, President Nicos Anastasiades reaffirmed his readiness to begin efforts towards setting the terms of reference, as requested by the UN Secretary-General, with the ultimate goal of resuming negotiations, the government spokesperson Prodromos Prodromou said.
The president reaffirmed that the Greek Cypriot side would rely on the framework and the six parameters set out by UN chief Antonio Guterres, during the Crans-Montana conference on Cyprus in 2017, as well as on all past convergences, to resume comprehensive negotiations that will address all issues, Prodromou said.
On Tuesday, the president said that the terms of reference, requested by the UN special envoy Jane Holl Lute, that will determine whether reunification talks would resume must be drafted by the end of the year.
“The president also had the opportunity to explain that the issue of the decentralisation of power neither substitutes nor abolishes the concept of political equality or the need for Turkish Cypriot participation, but instead aims to ensure that the solution will be as functional as possible, and will serve the public… as in the end it will be the public that will be called to approve and live with a desirable solution to the Cyprus problem,” Prodromou said.
The president reiterated the importance of abolishing the “anachronistic and outdated” Treaty of Guarantees which allows for foreign interventions on the island. “The aim,” Prodromou said, “is for Cyprus to be a country for all Cypriots, without occupation armies.”
The representatives of the Turkish Cypriot party CTP referred to their community’s need for more trust-building measures, and “the need was highlighted for specific crossing points in western Cyprus, in Kokkina in the Pyrgos area, and in Piroi, Athienou, which is a peculiar situation.”
In May 2015, local authorities in the wider area around the village of Athienou, near Larnaca, demanded the opening of the Piroi thoroughfare, which has been closed since 1974, and which would enable movement from Larnaca to Nicosia through Athienou, Piroi, Yeri and Aglandjia.
Regarding the road that runs through in Kokkina, the community council in Kato Pyrgos decided last week to hand a memorandum to the government, claiming that the opening of the crossing is a long-standing demand of the people in Tillyria and is a matter of humanitarian significance.