Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said on Wednesday that together with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci they agreed that the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will inform UN Security Council members of the conference to take place on January 12 in Geneva with a clear reference that if they so wish they can be present, as well as that Guterres will invite the EU to be present at the conference.
President Anastasiades was speaking to journalists upon his return to the Presidential Palace after a meeting he had with Akinci in the context of the ongoing UN brokered talks which aim to reunite Cyprus under a federal roof. The island has been divided since Turkey invaded in 1974 and subsequently occupied its northern third.
“We had a creative meeting,” Anastasiades noted, adding that the two negotiators briefed them of the progress they have made so far on all chapters and pending convergences and that they agreed that a list will be drafted so that the talks due to take place in Geneva on 9 – 11 January between them will be organised.
He added that “we have reconfirmed that on the 11th of this month maps will be submitted and afterward, on the 12th we will proceed with the conference on the Cyprus problem.”
“We have agreed that the Secretary General will inform the members of the Security Council of the conference and will also invite the EU to be present,” he noted.
Asked to clarify whether the 5 permanent members will be at the conference or whether they will be informed of the conference President Anastasiades replied that “they will be informed with a clear reference that if they so wish they can be present.” He added that this means “not only the 5 (permanent) members but the 15 members of the Security Council.”
“I should note that of course the fact that they are invited does not mean that they are actually part of the negotiation of the Treaty of Guarantees, because this is a matter which concerns the Republic of Cyprus, the three guarantor powers and the two communities,” he pointed out.
Therefore, he added, they will be present and if the two leaders or any of the leaders wishes to have their advice or their contribution he will be able to do so.
Asked whether it will be a six-party conference President Anastasiades said that it will take the form of a five-party conference with the presence of the President of the Republic and the representative of the Greek Cypriot community.
Replying to a question as to whether any pending matters have been completed he said that they haven`t but that what has been agreed is that all important matters of all chapters are to be written down on two columns and for a substantial negotiation to take place between the 9th and 11th of January. On the 11th the maps will be submitted and once their compatibility with what has been agreed is looked into they will be handed over to the UN Secretary General`s Special Representative, he added.
Asked whether there has to be convergence of the two maps before going through with the conference, he said they “must be within reach of an agreement”
Replying to another question he further clarified that the conference to take place on the 12th is only for matters of security. If there are any pending matters concerning the main chapters and a progress on security matters takes place then we can come back and continue negotiations so that more convergences are achieved over the pending matters, he added.
Asked at what level the guarantor powers will be represented at the conference he said that from what has been said so far, the President of Turkey and the Greek Prime Minister will be there, it has not been made known who it will be on the part of Britain and the Republic of Cyprus will be represented by its President.
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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has asked British Prime Minister Theresa May for her support in the effort to find a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem on the basis of UN resolutions and the acquis communautaire.
According to an announcement released from his press office, the Greek Prime Minister had a telephone conversation with Great Britain`s Prime Minister Theresa May.
“The Prime Minister outlined analytically Greece`s positions on the current developments of the Cyprus problem, in view of the multilateral conference in Geneva,” the press release says.
It adds that Tsipras requested May`s “support for a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem on the basis of UN resolutions and the acquis communautaire.”
Earlier today, the Athens News Agency, citing a government source, reported that Tsipras was expected to have telephone conversations either today or in the coming days with with UK Prime Minister Theresa May, European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, French President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Apart from the fact that each of the three countries holds special weight, Athens and the EU, the same source had said, continue to maintain the steadfast position that the European Union`s participation in a multilateral conference in Geneva on January 12 for the Cyprus problem is an indispensable precondition.
At any rate, it had added, the Republic of Cyprus is an EU member state and the Cyprus problem is a central issue which concerns Euro-Turkish relations.
A meeting which will take place between Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and the new UN Secretary General, António Guterres, is considered to be of crucial importance as matters of substance as well as procedure are expected to be discussed.
In the meantime, in view of the multilateral conference in Geneva, the Greek Prime Minister will brief Greek political party leaders on Monday.
The Greek government expects that a climate of consensus will be ascertained since at a meeting of the Greek National Council of Foreign Policy, which has already taken place, according to sources, the dialogue which took place was constructive and positive.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-brokered talks have been ongoing since May 2015 with a view to reunify the island under a federal roof.
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have decided to meet in Geneva between January 9 and 11, when the two sides will be discussing the internal aspects of the Cyprus problem and will present maps. On January 12 a Conference on Cyprus is expected to take place in the presence of the three guarantor powers (Greece, Turkey and the UK) as well as other relevant parties, as is needed to deal with the chapter of security and guarantees.
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