Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has said that he will take part in a trilateral meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, on November 25, in Berlin, determined to reach agreement on the terms of reference with a “positive spirit and creative ideas.”
President Anastasiades was replying to journalists’ questions on his departure from the Presidential Palace after having chaired a meeting of the National Council, the country’s top advisory body which is comprised by political party leaders.
Replying to a question whether he has found helpful political parties` contribution ahead of the crucial consultations, he expressed his satisfaction “for the responsible attitude of the parties and their entire approach, on the basis, off course, of everything which lies ahead.”
He stressed that “the position of our side remains that we are determined and have an absolute political will to take part (in the meeting) with a positive spirit and creative ideas so that we can reach agreement on the terms of reference which will lead us to a five- party meeting so that finally the terms of reference can be determined and we can move ahead to a creative dialogue.”
Asked whether during a brief encounter he had with the UN Secretary General he felt that he is determined for an agreement to be reached on the terms of reference he replied that “the most important thing we should note is his determination to convene (the meeting) in order to create the conditions.” Beyond that, he added, “it is not up to the Secretary General to exert pressure.”
Therefore, President Anastasiades noted, “what is left is the will of the other side.”
“We are going (to the meeting) with determination and a given political will to reach agreement on the terms of reference in accordance with the consensus reached after the meeting of August 9,” he added.
President Anastasiades also referred to recent statements by Turkish Cypriot politician Mehmet Ali Talat on a conversation they had and said that he briefed political party leaders of what was said, taking in mind statements made by Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu in September and October.
“What I told him is “I regret to say that based on Turkey’s stance what I expect is that unfortunately, the meeting on November 25, in Berlin, seems to be an informal meeting, without an outcome, after having made the expense of going there,” he clarified.
Talat, omitted to say that it was Turkey’s stance and positions that do not herald a hopeful course, he added.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Turkey has ignored numerous UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops and respect of the integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus.
Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The last round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.
In mid-November, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Cyprus, Jane Holl Lute will be in Cyprus to prepare for the meeting of the leaders with Guterres, in Berlin.