President-elect Nikos Christodoulides said on Thursday he did not hear anything he didn’t expect to from Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar after the two met earlier in the day.

Returning from his first meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader, he said that he is aware of the different approaches to solving the Cyprus problem and the core differences, but also he is ready to do whatever possible to overcome the impasse reached in Cyprus talks, within the agreed framework of the UN resolutions and with the EU playing a leading role.

Christodoulides said that they exchanged opinions on a number of issues, including that of the earthquake response.

“The proposal from Mr Tatar can be discussed within the framework of the technical committee for crisis management. There are other examples, such as those of the destructive fires,” he said.

Christodoulides said that he believes another meeting between the two will be held soon, and that he invited Tatar to have a social meeting together with their wives.

He added that he believes Tatar will agree to this meeting.

Tatar told the press in the north that his proposal for an earthquake response team was met positively by Christodoulides.

“I don’t know if this work will be done in one of the existing technical committees or if it will be a separate arrangement. I think a separate study might be more accurate,” he said.

He said that Christodoulides offered to meet him for another informal meeting in the coming days, “as for official talks to start they [the Greek Cypriot side] will have to accept the sovereign equality of the TRNC.”

The meeting took place at Unficyp head Colin Stewart’s residence.

After the meeting, Unficyp issued a statement, which said that Christodoulides and Tatar addressed several issues, including the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

“They had an informal discussion which was open and constructive,” the statement said.

Both leaders also expressed their sympathies for the victims of the earthquakes, including those of the Turkish Cypriots.

Speaking before the two-hour meeting, Christodoulides said that any actions made through technical committees or confidence-building measures cannot replace the goal of solving the Cyprus issue within the agreed UN framework.

At the same time, he said he was aware that this goal could not be reached through a single meeting, especially the first informal meeting between him and Tatar.

“I’m not here to play any blame game,” he added. “I’m interested in the substance, I’m interested in the results, I’m interested in achieving our goal, which is nothing more than breaking the impasse,” he said.

Christodoulides said he knew this was not an easy goal, but this would not deter him from continuing his efforts. “No one wants more than us for the dialogue to resume and for us to achieve a solution to the Cyprus issue within the established framework.”

Commenting on the earthquake response proposal from Tatar, Christodoulides said: “The Republic of Cyprus has know-how, and as an EU member state has the ability to access relevant European mechanisms.”