The UN yesterday denied reports from Ankara that Cypriot leaders will meet face-to-face on November 4 to kick-start stalled peace talks.
“There is no scheduled meeting on November 4, there is no such agreement,” UNFICYP spokesman Michel Bonnardeaux told the Cyprus News Agency.
Earlier yesterday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a press conference that Ankara “sees a window of opportunity" to end the decades-old Cyprus problem.
And that he expects peace talks between Greek and Turkish Cypriots to resume in November after a lull of almost 18 months.
"There hasn't been any progress in the negotiations for the past nine years (sine the Annan Plan). Now we think there is a window of opportunity," Davutoglu said.
He said President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Ergolu were due to meet on the island and representatives from each side would then visit Athens and Ankara.
The eventual target is to hold a referendum on a proposed deal by March 2014.
UN-brokered talks aiming to reunite the island were expected to resume this month but Nicosia sent the message that a new round must be well prepared beforehand.
Official sources have played down the prospects of any imminent breakthrough, highlighting a broad range of potential obstacles from territorial adjustments to a complex web of property claims.
A source told The Cyprus Daily yesterday that “nothing has been agreed on the procedure yet, it’s not even certain the President will be in Cyprus on that date. It seems that this is a Turkish tactic to make us look like we are stalling the process”.
The same source added that UN envoy Alexander Downer who arrives in Cyprus in early November had said that the 4th was a possible date – among others.
Downer has said that a face-to-face meeting would take place only if procedural issues were agreed and a joint statement by the two leaders was drafted.
Turkey has yet to respond to the President’s proposed confidence building measures before a new round of peace talks resume.