Ankara is key to the efforts aimed at solving the Cyprus problem, government spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis said on Thursday.

To this end, this is why EU-Turkey relations can play a significant role, he told journalists during a press briefing.

Letymbiotis was responding to a question as to whether he believes there is a difference of opinion between Ankara and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar.

He underlined it was well-known that the key to the effort behind these talks lies in Ankara.

Holguin had said Turkey’s Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan had been willing to listen “with an open mind.”

Nonetheless, he added it is a positive sign that UNSG envoy Maria Angela Holguin has expressed her intention to continue efforts aimed at resuming talks.

He stressed the government would continue to take initiatives with a goal of creating positive conditions that will lead to the resumption of peace talks.

In a press briefing, Letymbiotis noted that it is through dialogue that answers can be given to the concerns and worries of both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

He added the Greek Cypriot side had responded positively to Holguin’s proposal for a joint meeting with herself, Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar and the two negotiators.

The suggestion was rejected by Tatar, who said he refused to sit at a table where Greek Cypriots would be classed as the Republic and the Turkish Cypriots would be a community.

Letymbiotis referred to the measures for Turkish Cypriots, announced by the government last January, as well as to the recent European Council conclusions which, he said, sent a clear message about the progress that can be made in EU-Turkey relations, through progress in the Cyprus problem.

According to the spokesman, these initiatives send a positive and constructive message to Turkey, aimed at making the necessary progress for the impasse to be lifted and for talks to resume.

Holguin will continue her contacts in EU capitals and Ankara and has stated her willingness to continue efforts “which sends a very positive message,” Letymbiotis said.

He added that diplomatic efforts will continue diplomacy must be given room to play its role.