Tuesday’s meeting between President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci is considered to be an important indicator of the future of the current round of negotiations in finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.
The two leaders are scheduled to discuss the effective participation of the two communities in the government, issues related to the EU and the governance of the country, as well as the representation of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in institutions of a federal Cyprus.
“On Tuesday, we hope to have a better idea of where the negotiations are headed,” said sources close to the negotiations.
Tuesday’s meeting takes place at a crucial moment due to a number of reasons; Turkey continues to raise the issue of gas exploration in the Republic of Cyprus’s EEZ. Secondly, President Anastasiades instead of signing the Enosis Bill passed by the House (passed to undo a previous bill used by Akinci as a pretext to leave the negotiations) has referred it to the Supreme Court.
Furthermore, the Greek Cypriot side has ascertained that the negotiations are not leading towards a solution which has caused a flurry of reactions among Greek Cypriot political parties and Turkish attempts to stop hydrocarbon exploratory drilling in Cyprus’ EEZ through a new round of Geneva talks.
With regards to the last point, Turkey will attempt, through the next meetings between the two leaders, to show that enough progress has been made in the negotiations to call a new Conference on Cyprus.
It is expected that the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Advisor on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide and other players will attempt to pressurise Anastasiades to shelve hydrocarbon exploratory plans set for the summer so as not to ‘spoil the climate’.
Eide informed the five permanent members of the UN Security Council on the latest developments in the negotiations last Thursday and is expected back in Cyprus on Monday in order to attend Tuesday’s meeting, the first of three planned for May.
According to the same sources, the ambassadors of the five permanent members of the Security Council expressed their support for the UN efforts in the negotiation process, reiterating their readiness to help, if and when asked.
Anastasiades and Akinci are expected to meet again on May 11 and May 20.