No one doubts that the return of Turkish-held Famagusta to its lawful Greek Cypriot inhabitants would give a boost to the new Cyprus peace process which begins next month.
This is what government spokesman Christos Stylianides told journalists yesterday after President Anastasiades briefed political party leaders on his meeting with UN envoy Alexander Downer.
“It has already been stressed that there is behind-the-scenes diplomacy on the Famagusta (confidence-building) proposal and that it would be best if this was not discussed publicly because it could cause damage,” Stylianides said.
“…It is a good thing that Mr Downer will raise the proposal before Mr Davutoglou when they meet (in Ankara). We are waiting for the response of the Turkish side,” he added.
The government’s proposal is to permit trade through the occupied port of Famagusta under supervision of the EU, if the ‘ghost town’ of Varosha is returned to its Greek Cypriot inhabitants.
Anastasiades also informed the leaders that a letter of response to Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu is on its way.
Eroglu sent a letter to Anastasiades analysing his views on the basis of the negotiations aiming for the island’s reunification.
The government is also drafting letters to be sent to the UN Secretary General and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council as well as to the leaders of the EU, the European Commission and European Parliament.
Asked whether the letters will focus on the terms and provisions set by the Greek Cypriot side for the resumption of the dialogue the spokesman refused to answer.
“The worst thing a state can do is make public the content of a letter before it even gets in the hands of the receiver,” he said.
He also said that the leaders’ two representatives – Andreas Mavroyiannis and Osman Ertug – yesterday met on their own for the first time to prepare the ground for the resumption of the peace talks.