Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis will be meeting Turkish Undersecretary of the ministry of foreign affairs Feridun Hadi Sinirlioglu in Ankara on Thursday to discuss ways to break the Cyprus problem’s impasse.
This was officially announced in the Turkish capital as well as Turkish Cypriot negotiator Kudret Ozersay meeting in Athens the same day with Greek permanent secretary of the foreign ministry Anastasis Mitsialis.
At the same time, Mavroyiannis (pictured) sent the message that – with all due respect to Turkish Cypriot negotiators - the key to the solution of the long-standing Cyprus problem is in Ankara.
“We do not want to disrespect Turkish Cypriot negotiators, but for us the key to the solution is in Ankara,” he said in an interview with Turkish daily Milliyet published yesterday.
“The solution’s key is in Ankara, it is a big opportunity for us to explain our positions there, to establish a direct communication channel…There are many issues we want to discuss,” he added.
Mavroyiannis also said that Nicosia wants to solve the Cyprus problem for the benefit of all Cypriots.
“We are a small country. We do not compete with Turkey. What we are asking from Turkey is our place in the sun. We want the island’s reunification…Plus, the European Union (to which Cyprus is a member) can play a very positive role,” he added.
Mavroyiannis also referred to the hot issue of the return of the Turkish-held ghost town of Varosha to its lawful Greek Cypriot inhabitants as a gesture of goodwill aiming to build up trust between the two sides.
He said that President Anastasiades is pushing for this because he knows it would really boost confidence on both sides of the divide.
“Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots will be working together to reconstruct Famagusta and this can only be positive,” he said explaining that confidence between the two sides will also be reconstructed.
Stalled UN-brokered Cyprus peace talks aiming to reunite the island resumed on February 11 after Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu agreed on a joint communiqué. This highlights the key principles of a federated Cyprus.
The resumption of the talks was warmly welcomed by the international community especially by the US, UN, EU and Russia.