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Turkey’s stance ahead of Berlin meeting ‘remains to be seen’ spokesman says

Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou

It remains to be seen whether the Turkish side will abandon its intransigent stance by the time the leaders meet with UN chief Antonio Guterres in Berlin next month, government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Sunday.

The Secretary-General on Friday called the leaders to an informal tripartite meeting in Berlin on November 25, which could lead to a five-party conference in December that would include the guarantor powers, Turkey, Greece and Britain.

Speaking after a memorial service for an Eoka hero in Astromeritis, Prodromou, when asked, what was expected from the Berlin meeting, told reporters on Sunday that President Nicos Anastasiades had the political will for progress.

“We hope that by that time [November 25] the Turkish side will abandon its inflexible stance… that will allow the resumption of substantive negotiations in line with the Secretary-General’s initiative in trying to prepare for a relaunch of the talks,” he added.

“From the Greek Cypriot side, the president has numerous times reaffirmed that we seek a solution on the basis of UN decisions and resolutions, utilising the Guterres framework and, of course, through negotiations to find a mutually acceptable agreement for the benefit of all Cypriots.”

On whether he thought Turkey would, in fact, abandon its inflexible stance, Prodromou said: “This remains to be seen. The president will proceed on 25 November with clear political will and willingness to create the conditions for the resumption of negotiations. This, however, depends on the Turkish side and mainly on Turkey.”

Asked what the next steps might be subsequent to that, he added: “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Fortunately, the Secretary-General’s initiative is still in progress and we look forward to the fact that Mr Guterres will proceed accordingly.”

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