The President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades will attend a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, later this month, having all cards on the table, said Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou.
Speaking after a session of the National Council, the top advisory body to the President regarding the handling of the Cyprus issue, Prodromou said that “the President of the Republic has been and is still open for a discussion, which is finally taking place.”
He added that this meeting is not part of negotiations, but rather an informal meeting “where the two, the President together with the Turkish Cypriot leader, will have the chance to discuss all issues that concern them, in a bid to facilitate efforts to formulate the terms of reference.”
The Government Spokesman also pointed to other times in the past, where President Anastasiades spoke with Akinci over a decentralized approach and how this may facilitate a functioning solution.
At the same time, he added, in order to really go back to settlement talks, both sides should be willing to discuss all issues.
“The Cyprus problem is not only a matter of how to regulate the federal government, political equality provided by UN resolutions and effective participation. The Cyprus problem is also an issue of foreign occupation which needs to end, withdrawal of troops, ending guarantees, creating a security system that makes all Cypriots feel safe” he went on.
He said finally that Lute will not participate in this meeting. Regarding Elizabeth Spehar, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Prodromou said that she is informed and may be present during the meeting.
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 latest round of negotiations in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.