Cyprus Mail
Cyprus Cyprus Talks

All hinges on Turkey’s stance over convergences, says government

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Turkey’s reaction to the proposal by President Nicos Anastasiades to include in the terms of reference the convergences reached so far and the discussions held in Crans-Montana in 2017 will be pivotal for negotiations to proceed, a government source said on Wednesday.

The source told the Cyprus News Agency that Nicosia is expected to get a first glimpse of Turkey’s readiness once the new round of contacts by UN special envoy Jane Holl Lute to conclude the terms of reference for the resumption of talks has started.

The date of Lute’s arrival in Cyprus remains unknown.

Concerning the process for resuming negotiations, the government source said that Lute’s return to Cyprus was the first step in concluding the terms of reference.

The source added that the government does not attach particular importance to the non-paper on gas, as the content will be in line with Anastasiades’ letter to the UN secretary-general on the matter. Anastasiades is expected to send a non-paper to Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, containing his counterproposals on the issue of natural gas.

But natural gas was not the main issue the source said, pointing out that the Turkish side’s actions have shifted the agenda to gas, while Turkey has not yet provided proof of its readiness to discuss security and guarantees issues.

“It is the latter that will define whether a Cyprus conference will be held, and not gas,” the source said. It also said that that Anastasiades would not enter into any discussion on gas co-management.

The source also said that consultations have been underway since Tuesday to finalise the date of the National Council, where Anastasiades is expected to brief political leaders on the outcome of his informal meeting on August 9 with Akinci.

The meeting may take place next week at the presidential summer residence in Troodos or in the last week of August, at the Presidential Palace, depending on the availability of the political leaders.

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