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President ready to talk without preconditions, says spokesman

File photo: President Anastasiades pictured with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis

President Nicos Anastasiades is ready to talk with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci without setting any preconditions, government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Wednesday.

Speaking to state broadcaster CyBC radio, Prodromou expressed the hope that the Turkish Cypriot side would not put forth any preconditions either.

He reiterated that the meeting of August 9 between the two leaders, taking place at the office of UNSG’s Special Representative Elizabeth Spehar, will be decisive since it would shed light on the true potential for reigniting negotiations.

On Akinci’s statements on Tuesday that he would raise political equality and energy at the meeting, Prodromou said Anastasiades has already made clear his positions on the provisions of UN resolutions regarding political equality. The spokesman also referred to the convergences achieved earlier in the week during the dinner held in honour of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis who was on the island on an official visit.

During the dinner Anastasiades said that the Greek Cypriot side has repeatedly said it respects the UN resolutions concerning political equality. He reiterated however that the way the Turkish Cypriot side interprets it, in essence, “political equality is turned into political inequality” since it gives such privileges to one of the two communities at the expense of the other, or makes the other feel it is under the guardianship “of the lesser majority community”.

Akinci on Tuesday, following a meeting with Spehar, said the August 9 meeting was important because it would set the tone for the informal five-party conference on Cyprus later on.

Spehar, who is meeting with the two leaders separately ahead of their meeting next week, is to meet with Anastasiades on Thursday.

The Turkish Cypriot leader said in a written statement that the issues of political equality and effective participation in decision-making were clearly part of the UN resolutions but that the Greek Cypriot side disagreed.

“We will talk about them openly at the meeting on August 9,” he said.

He also said that the UN secretary-general would meet with the two sides separately in late September, and that Antonio Guterres himself wanted a trilateral meeting with them either in Europe or in New York.

He added that the five-party conference should be well prepared so that there are no false hopes and reiterated that negotiations should have a timetable.

Akinci also said that his proposal to set up a joint committee on hydrocarbons was received positively by foreign diplomats and the “pretexts” of the Greek Cypriot side for rejecting it were not convincing at all.


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