Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades flies to Geneva on Monday at the head of a delegation to participate in the 5+1 informal meeting on Cyprus which UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has convened and will take place on April 27-29. The meeting will be attended by the UN, the two sides in Cyprus and the three guarantor powers, namely Greece, Turkey and the UK.

Government Spokesman Kyriacos Koushos has told CNA that President Anastasiades goes to the meeting “with a positive approach and will participate with a creative spirit, with a view to achieve the goal of the meeting which is to move forward with negotiations on the substance, aiming to achieve a Cyprus settlement.”

Moreover, Koushos said that President Anastasiades is ready for all possible developments and scenarios. He recalled that there has been preparation both by the negotiating team and the group of legal experts who advise the President and the negotiator “so that we will be able to address any possible developments and any issues that will come up during the informal meeting.”

The Government Spokesman said that “we have repeatedly made it clear that we do not accept a two-state solution, and that we are ready for a settlement within the UN framework, that will be based on the agreed basis for a settlement, as determined by the UN Security Council resolutions and decisions, a settlement that will be compatible with the EU principles and values and the EU acquis and will be based on the convergences that have been achieved and the UNSG`s statement on November 25, 2019, in Berlin”.

Koushos noted that “we are the side which adopts the positions and the decisions not only of the UN but also of the international community and the side that wants a settlement that will safeguard the interests and the concerns of both sides.”

Asked if there seems to be common ground for negotiations, given the positions expressed in public by the Turkish Cypriot and the Turkish side with regard to the settlement of the Cyprus problem they are seeking, the Spokesman said that someone cannot be optimistic about the outcome of the informal meeting, if Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side insist on the positions they express in public.

“They suggest a settlement which is outside the UN framework that cannot be accepted by the EU, as well as by the vast majority of the international community. Just recently there were statements on the two-state settlement from many countries as the USA,” he added.

Therefore, he said, “if Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side continue to adopt these positions we cannot be optimistic. However past experience has shown that we must be ready to see which are the official positions that will be tabled by the Turkish side during the informal meeting. We had heard similar positions by former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, while former Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu, who comes from the same party as the current Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar, had similar positions. However negotiations with both Denktash and Eroglu on the essence of the Cyprus problem went ahead,” Koushos said.

He added that “we must see which are the positions of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side during the informal meeting. As the Greek Cypriot side, we can assure that we go to the meeting with good will in order to have a creative, productive presence, aiming at the settlement of the Cyprus problem, we go with the position expressed by the UN, the EU and the international community, and we note that the other side has not, unfortunately, accepted the presence of the EU in this informal meeting.”

He noted that “the EU will be present in Geneva with a three-member delegation. However, it will not be an observer at the informal meeting, something which showcases Turkey’s policy. Koushos recalled that Cyprus is a full EU member state and will continue to be after a Cyprus settlement, adding that the EU will make an immensely positive contribution in the negotiating process for both sides.

Asked if the Greek Cypriot side will put forward the issue of the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) during the meeting, Koushos said that CBMs have been proposed repeatedly by President Anastasiades and in a letter he sent to the UNSG and can lead to a breakthrough in many issues.

“The President gives the opportunity through the proposed CBMs to address many concerns, reservations and other issues which the other side brings up,” he added.

Koushos said that one of these issues is the issue of Famagusta, so that the fenced-off city comes under the UN administration, while at the same time the proposal is also for the airport in occupied Tympou to come under the UN administration. There are also other proposals about the operation of ports, trade etc, he added.

He noted that it is up to the other side if it wants to further discuss about the CBMs as proposed by President Anastasiades, adding that “we are ready to discuss them at any time.”

Programme of the informal meeting


According to the programme of the informal meeting, it will begin on Tuesday afternoon with bilateral consultations which the UNSG will have at the Intercontinental Hotel at 1600 local time with Ersin Tatar and at 1800 with President Anastasiades. Each leader will be accompanied by 5 of his aides. At 2045 a reception will take place for the participants in the meeting. Each side will be represented by the head of its delegation and two other people.

On Wednesday at 1000-1300 a plenary of the meeting will take place at the Palace of the Nations. It will include opening remarks by the UNSG and remarks by Anastasiades, Tatar, and the FMs of the guarantor powers, the Foreign Minister of Turkey, Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Foreign Minister of Greece, Nikos Dendias and the UK Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab. Each head of delegation will be accompanied by five of his aides.

From 1400-1850 bilateral consultations will take place at the Palace of the Nations. The UNSG will meet at 1400-1450 with Cavusoglu, at 1500-1550 with Dendias, at 1600-1650 with Raab, at 1700-1750 with Tatar and at 1800-1850 with Anastasiades.

A new plenary session will take place at 1900-2030 at the Palace of the Nations. Each head of delegation will be accompanied by five people.

At 2100 a dinner will be hosted for participants at the Intercontinental Hotel. Each head of delegation will be accompanied by one person.

On Thursday morning bilateral consultations will take place at the Palace of the Nations. At 0900-0950 the UNSG will meet with Tatar and at 1000-1050 he will meet with Anastasiades. Each head of delegation will be escorted by five people.

At 1100-1150 trilateral consultations will take place at the Palace of the Nations among the UNSG, Anastasiades and Tatar. Each head of delegation will also be accompanied by five people. The informal meeting will wrap up with a plenary session of the participants at the Palace of the Nations, that will take place at 1200-1400. Each head of delegation will be accompanied by five of his aides.

Who is going to Geneva


President Anastasiades who left on a chartered flight for Geneva at 0900 on Monday is escorted by Foreign Minister, Nikos Christodoulides, Government Spokesman, Kyriacos Koushos, Head of his Diplomatic Office, Kyriacos Kouros, and negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis.

Moreover, political party leaders, except ELAM leader will fly to Geneva. Party leaders going are Democratic Rally (DISY) President, Averof Neofytou, AKEL General-Secretary Andros Kyprianou, Democratic Party (DIKO) President, Nicholas Papadopoulos, EDEK President, Marinos Sizopoulos, Citizens Alliance President, Yiorgos Lillikas, Solidarity Movement President, Eleni Theocharous, Deputy President of the Movement of Ecologists — Citizens’ Cooperation, Efi Xanthou, and President of the Democratic Front, Marios Garoyian.

Also, the President is escorted by the Attorney General, George Savvides, and members of the negotiating team and the group of legal experts. More specifically Ioannis Kasoulides, Panayiotis Demetriou, Tasos Tzionis, Toumazos Tsielepis, Christina Ioannou, Constandinos Kombos, Costakis Paraskeva, Aristotelis Constantinides, Pantelis Pantelides and Adrianos Kyriakides are also flying with him to Geneva.

Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar, will be accompanied in Geneva by negotiator Ergun Olgun, his spokesperson Berna Çelik Doğruyol, members of his team Osman Ertug and Oguzhan Hasipoglu, coordinator for the bicommunal Technical Committees Güneş Onar and four legal and constitutional experts. Turkish Cypriot puppet regime’s “foreign minister”, Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu, will also be in the Turkish Cypriot delegation. The Turkish Cypriot leader will also be accompanied by Turkish Cypriot political party leaders.

Foreign Minister of Greece, Nikos Dendias, will be accompanied in Switzerland by the Greek Foreign Ministry`s Secretary General Themistoklis Demiris and Konstantinos Kollias, A2 Director at the Directorate on Cyprus.

Angelina Eichhorst, Managing Director for Western Europe, Western Balkans, Turkey and United Kingdom at the European External Action Service will be present on behalf of the EU in Geneva, during the informal 5+1 meeting on Cyprus.

Eichhorst will not be part of the informal conference and will not attend any meeting procedures, including the opening reception and the dinner. She will, however, have bilateral meetings with the parties involved.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The UN Secretary-General invited all parties involved to attend an informal five-plus-one meeting on the Cyprus issue in Geneva, Switzerland, from 27 to 29 April 2021.