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Cyprus Talks

National Council meeting was ‘creative and constructive’

Photo: CNA

President Nicos Anastasiades on Friday briefed the National Council on his meeting earlier in the week with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and his telephone conversation with UN envoy Jane Hall Lute.

Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said after the meeting that Anastasiades informed the members of the National Council about a telephone conversation he had with Lute a few days ago and on the consultations underway for the terms of reference for the resumption of the talks.

“An effort is underway for the terms of reference to be prepared based also on the parameters the UN Secretary-General had proposed,” Prodromou said.

The date of Lute’s trip to Ankara, as part of a series of contacts with the guarantor powers, is not yet known, he said.  Lute was in Athens on Tuesday.

Anastasiades also briefed the members of the National Council on what he had discussed at Tuesday’s meeting with Akinci.

“A discussion followed, opinions and assessments were expressed, and we must say that it was a creative and constructive meeting of the National Council,” Prodromou said.

Later in the day, during the inauguration of the new Nicosia Town Hall, Anastasiades reiterated that the aim was to conclude the terms of reference “that will pave the way for a creative dialogue to bring results.”

Invited to say at what stage the procedure was, he said: “it would not be wise to speak about how close or how far we are before the conclusion of the contacts.”
On his telephone conversation with Lute, Anastasiades said the UN official does not like publicity.
Visits to the three guarantor powers is part of Lute’s schedule, he said, adding that the UN envoy, who has already visited Cyprus, and would return.

The leaders agreed on Tuesday at their informal meeting on a series of confidence-building measures (CBMs) but no announcements had been made as regards next steps concerning the negotiations process.  Any moves on that front are expected after June as per Turkey’s demand. The government has expressed disagreement to that prospect maintaining the talks must start the soonest possible but admitted there’s not much that can be done.

Prodromou said earlier in the week that the position of the Greek Cypriot side was to agree to the terms of reference for new talks as soon as possible.

He had said that it was positive that some CBMs were announced but that CBMs “in no way replace the main issue which is currently the resumption of negotiations.”

The two leaders agreed on Tuesday to link the two sides’ mobile telephony networks through an outside hub – a CBM decided in 2015 but never implemented – integration of the electricity grid, which was completed almost two years ago, an exchange of cultural material, and additional mine clearance. Anastasiades also raised his proposal for a more decentralised federal government.

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