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Anastasiades to send letter to UNSG briefing him on Cyprus talks

President Nicos Anastasiades will inform the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the current state of affairs in negotiations in writing by Tuesday, after the Turkish Cypriot leader`s decision to withdraw from the Cyprus talks, demanding that an amendment passed by the Parliament be revoked.

The negotiations have stalled after the Turkish Cypriot leader`s decision to withdraw from the Cyprus talks, demanding that an amendment passed by parliament be retracted.

In statements to the press, Anastasiades said that he had decided to send a letter to the UNSG right after Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci`s letter to Guterres but he kept on hoping that Akinci would return to the negotiating table during their scheduled meeting on Thursday, February 23. Akinci cancelled Thursday’s meeting.

“It seems that there is no more room left, so the letter will be sent the latest on Tuesday”, he said.

Asked what Turkey seeks to achieve with this stance, the Anastasiades is of the opinion that it is probably linked to the referendum in Turkey in April and to Ankara`s unwillingness to reveal its actual intentions on the issues of security, guarantees and troops, which are being discussed at the Cyprus talks.

He expressed the wish that after the referendum in Turkey (in April) no more excuses will be used by Ankara to avoid its responsibilities.

Asked if he had any contact with the Turkish Cypriot leader he said “no, unfortunately”.

He also said that for now no responsibility should be attributed to the United Nations Secretary-General Special Advisor for Cyprus Espen Barth Eide since he gave an objective information about which was the side that abandoned the Cyprus talks.

Replying to a journalist’s comment that he had implied that Eide bears responsibility for the situation, Anastasiades explained that he did not refer to interventions on the substance but that there was no strict procedure as regards what had been agreed that would be on the agenda (of the meetings).

He clarified that his reference to a new methodology and approach requires an ongoing dialogue. The President also said that in the framework of this new methodology the issues agreed should be written down, as well as the small and big differences should be written down and an effort should be made until the new meeting in Geneva, – that would have taken place on the 13th of March – to conclude with the small differences and after that to discuss the core issues that are still pending.

He pointed out that after Akinci`s stance and his refusal to come to the negotiating table
“there is – at this stage at least – nothing that relates to methodology or how to troubleshoot problems since there is no dialogue.”

Akinci walked away last week from a meeting, in the framework of the UN-led negotiations on the Cyprus problem, shortly after it began. It was announced that the two leaders had elaborated earlier on their positions as regards an amendment passed by the Cypriot  Parliament which includes a once a year discussion of ten minutes in school classrooms about the 1950 referendum held in Cyprus, which favored back then a union (or `enosis` in the Greek language) with Greece.

Anastasiades has described the House amendment  “wrong” and called on Akinci to return to the negotiating table. Akinci demands that the amendment of the Cypriot Parliament is revoked before returning to the negotiating table.

The Cypriot President recalled the unanimous decision of the National Council where it declared that no one is pursuing “Enosis” or division, noting that “we remain committed to the unanimous decisions of the National Council, the UN resolutions and Security Council decisions for the type of solution that we are working for. This should have been more than satisfactory”.

Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides announced on Wednesday on twitter that the meeting between President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci, scheduled for Thursday, February 23, was not going to take place, due to Akinci’s refusal to attend. He added that the ball is now in the Turkish court.

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