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Path leading to settlement talks seems to be opening, Spokesman says

Government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou

A certain path seems to be opening, leading to the resumption of settlement talks, after Friday’s meeting between the two leaders, Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Saturday.

Addressing a local festival in Pissouri, a village in the southern coast of Cyprus, Prodromou said that talks need to resume from where they were left off in Switzerland, in the summer of 2017.

He also noted that despite the artificial climate of tension and Turkey’s aggressive behaviour to the detriment of Cyprus’ sovereign rights, President Anastasiades strives for a resumption of negotiations.

At the same time, he said that Turkey should also contribute towards this direction, by terminating its aggressive policy that provokes insecurity.

Talks should be held on the basis of the parameters set by the UN Secretary-General in Crans Montana, aiming at a viable and functioning settlement, on the basis of UN resolutions, Prodromou went on. He noted that with the parameters of Antonio Guterres, we clearly spoke for the first time about a solution that would turn Cyprus truly independent.

He also referred to a permanent settlement that will allow all Cypriots to enjoy human rights and liberties, as is the standard in all EU member states.

This is the direction the President is moving along and this calls for the greatest possible unity, in order to support the national effort, Prodromou concluded.

The leaders of the island’s divided communities agreed Friday to pursue efforts to restart reunification talks but failed to find common ground on gas exploitation, which has become a major sticking point.

In their first meeting since February, President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said they had a constructive exchange of views and would continue to work with UN envoy Jane Holl Lute on the terms of reference that would kick-start a new round of negotiations.

“They decided to continue engaging in the efforts undertaken … with the determination to finalise the terms of reference that would enable structured and results-oriented negotiations leading to a settlement with a sense of urgency,” a UN statement issued on behalf of the leaders said following talks of almost three hours.

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