Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades, and Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, decided on Tuesday about a series of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) among the two communities, concerning, inter alia, mobile telephony and interconnectivity of the electricity grids, according to a statement of the UN spokesperson in Cyprus after an informal meeting which the two leaders had at the UNSG`s Special Representative and Deputy Special Adviser Elizabeth Spehar`s residence under her auspices.
According to the statement, Anastasiades and Akinci had a constructive exchange of views in a cordial atmosphere and Anastasiades presented his ideas on decentralization and the two leaders discussed in depth the basic principles.
Regarding CBMs, as it is noted, the leaders committed to intensifying the work of the Technical Committees with the objective of improving the daily lives of all Cypriots.
According to the statement, the two leaders decided to implement the confidence building measure regarding mobile phone interoperability through separate agreements of the operators on both sides with a hub based in Europe, in order to facilitate greater interaction between the two communities.
Moreover, they announced that the interconnectivity of the two electricity grids, as agreed in 2015, has now been achieved. In this regard, they decided to make the temporary electricity supply arrangement permanent and without restriction. They also acknowledged that the transfer of electricity will continue on an as-needed basis.
The leaders agreed to the clearance of nine suspected hazardous areas on both sides of the island, with a view to working towards a mine-free Cyprus, the statement added.
Moreover it is noted that as a gesture of good will, Akinci "conveyed the decision of the Turkish Cypriot side to return paintings by Greek Cypriot artists that remained under protection on the Turkish Cypriot side since 1974."
The UN spokesperson also said that Anastasiades similarly conveyed to Akinci the Greek Cypriot side’s decision to hand over visual and audio recordings of Turkish Cypriot artists that exist in the archives of the CyBC, belonging to the pre-1963 period.
The two leaders have tasked the Technical Committee on Culture to realize the exchange of these invaluable works of art, belonging to the respective communities, the statement also noted, adding that Anastasiades and Akincı also discussed additional potential confidence building measures.