Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades described Wednesday’s meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci as “creative”, as they continue their talks in the framework of UN-led negotiations to solve the Cyprus problem.
He also said they discussed the way forward for the negotiations.
In statements on his return at the Presidential Palace from the meeting, Anastasiades referred to the statement which the UN issued about the meeting, which announced their decision to meet again on February 9 and request the UN to prepare the continuation of the Conference on Cyprus in early March.
Asked if they discussed Turkey’s demand that Turkish citizens should enjoy the four fundamental freedoms of the EU after a solution in Cyprus, he said they did not, adding that they also talked about the methodology to be followed from now on.
Responding to a question about statements made recently by Turkish officials, Anastasiades said that he raised this issue during his meeting with Akinci on Wednesday as he did during his meeting with the UNSG`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide on Tuesday, noting that if fewer statements are made, this “will contribute to the positive climate that we want to prevail” in the dialogue between the communities in Cyprus.
Therefore, the President noted, any statements either overoptimistic or otherwise do not contribute to what the leaders of the two communities are pursuing.
Asked if he is worried by the tension between Greece and Turkey, Anastasiades said that this is a negative development. At the same time he expressed hope that problems will be overcome.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Anastasiades and Akinci have been engaged in UN-led talks since May 2015 with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.