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Turkey to talk guarantees

Detailed discussions on the security and guarantees aspect of the Cyprus problem are expected to take place next week on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have been invited to attend the Forum to informally discuss security and also meet world leaders and heads of international institutions and investment funds to find ways of covering the cost of the solution. Anastasiades and Akinci have also indicated their readiness to hold a tripartite meeting with Ban Ki-moon, if there is such a request from the UN chief.

The Cyprus Weekly understands that President Anastasiades has received word that Turkey is ready to hold comprehensive discussions on guarantees. Nicosia and Greece seek the abolition of guarantor powers, whereas Britain appears open to accommodate a common request by the two sides on the matter.

Turkey has apparently suggested three steps to deal with security.

Initially, Ankara sent a message to Nicosia that guarantees are not a red line anymore and could be discussed.

This expression of political will was followed by a suggestion that guarantees could take a non-military form. And recently, the Turkish government appears to have indicated that non-military guarantees could last for a specific period of time.

The Cyprus Weekly understands that President Anastasiades would be willing to discuss security formulas that won’t allow Turkey to intervene with any decision-making in a re-unified Cyprus.

There is also a possibility of a tête-a-tête between Anastasiades and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, as had happened last year. But the government spokesman in Nicosia has made clear that no four-party meeting with Turkey, Greece, and the two sides in Cyprus would take place in Davos.

Financing the solution

Anastasiades and Akinci go to Switzerland with some broad political understanding on the big issues, but also with the need to do detailed legwork in order to put their political understanding on paper. Their main objective in Switzerland will be to meet with big hitters of the political and financial world. Anastasiades’ programme will be announced on Monday, but he is expected to meet US vice president, Joe Biden as well as the heads of the IMF, World Bank, European Commission and various investment funds.

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