As the two leaders in Cyprus prepare for Monday’s face-to-face meeting to push forward UN-brokered reunification talks, Nicosia has warned that an overall settlement is not just a glimpse away.
“We are still at the beginning,” government spokesman Christos Stylianides said yesterday in Limassol where he attended the parade to mark the March 25th anniversary (photo).
“And to all those who seem to believe that a solution to the Cyprus problem is almost agreed, I say that not only we are not there yet but that it will take a lot of hard negotiations before we do get there,” he added.
Stylianides also said that the path towards a viable settlement takes “alliances” and “persistence” on basic principles and values of the European Union
That is precisely why Nicosia has called for more guidance by the EU, he added. “So that the acquis communautaire’s philosophy is touchable throughout the negotiating process”.
At the same time, UNFICYP issued a statement saying “Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu will meet in the United Nations Protected Area of Nicosia at the Chief of Mission’s Residence on Monday, March 31, 2014 at 11.30 a.m.”.
In addition, appointed negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis flies today to New York and Washington DC for talks with UN and American officials focusing on proposed confidence-building measures.
Mavroyiannis who will be accompanied on his trans-Atlantic trip by head of the President Anastasiades’ diplomatic office Nicos Christodoulides would only say that proposed confidence-building measures are also on the agenda.
Stylianides went a step further yesterday saying that the international community has realised that the President’s proposal for the Turkish-held ghost town of Famagusta to open up under EU supervision is more than necessary.
“We insist on this and it has been comprehended by the international community that the issue of Famagusta is one of those issues that will create the impetus in the negotiations, it will change the prevailing (mistrustful) feeling and create – at long last – a feeling of trust,” he said.
“It seems that first indications on this are positive. The international community seems to understand this very strong position of the President of the Republic and I hope that we will have tangible and specific results in that direction the soonest possible,” he added.
Fresh talks aiming to reunite the island resumed on February 11 after Anastasiades and Eroglu reached agreement on a controversial joint communiqué listing the key principles of a federated Cyprus.