President Anastasiades came back from Athens last night with what appears to be a joint strategy with Greece on the imminent resumption of stalled UN-brokered Cyprus peace talks.
“There is absolute agreement with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on the next steps, the basis (of talks) and new momentum we want to have on the Cyprus problem,” he told journalists before his meeting with Greek President Karolos Papoulias.
Anastasiades, who paid a one-day official visit to Athens yesterday, said that he had assessed, with Greek officials, the results of last month’s meetings in New York and Washington DC.
And that the Greek Premier (pictured with Anastasiades) had briefed him on his contacts in New York and Tel Aviv.
Both men were at the UN headquarters for the annual meeting of the Security Council.
Anastasiades also pledged to work “methodically and systematically” to ensure that the new round of talks aiming to reunite the island will lead to a solution. But no fixed has been agreed on when those talks should begin afresh.
The president says he wants assurances that the new process will safeguard today’s state to evolve into a federal one which is in line with Cyprus’ status as an EU member.
He then argued that a new momentum is necessary and referred to his proposal for the return of the ghost town of Varosha to its lawful Greek Cypriot inhabitants.
It is a confidence building measure that will boost Greek Cypriots’ trust in the outcome of the new round of negotiations, Anastasiades said.
“And it will also bring the two communities together to work for the reconstruction of the town.”
The President made clear that the objective now is for the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides to agree on a joint statement before the dialogue resumes.
“The statement will include the content of the solution and what the two sides are aiming for,” Anastasiades said.
Samaras said after yesterday’s morning meeting that he briefed Anastasiades about his talks in the US and Israel.
And that he had stressed to his interlocutors the new upgraded role that Athens and Nicosia can play in the region in view of the recent discovery of hydrocarbons offshore Cyprus.
Earlier in the week, Turkey said November 4 would be the day the two Cypriot leaders meet to kick-start peace talks. But this was promptly denied by both the UN and Cypriot government officials.