A Cyprus settlement should meet the expectations of Greek Cypriots without ignoring the concerns of Turkish Cypriots, President Anastasiades said yesterday after a working luncheon with former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.
"We have briefed each other on the current phase of the Cyprus problem but what is most important is what we both believe," Anastasiades told journalists.
"That is, there should be a determination by everybody to reach at the earliest possible a solution that will meet the expectations of the Greek Cypriots and which will not ignore the concerns of the Turkish Cypriots," he added.
Anastasiades also said that with Talat they share the view that a prosperous homeland must not ignore basic and fundamental principles. "These are expressed through our capacity as a full EU member state," he added.
Talat said it was necessary for a peace culture to be cultivated in Cyprus and called on the two community leaders and the media to support this.
"The target is to reach a comprehensive settlement and in order to do that we have to understand each other and to this end I mentioned my idea regarding the launching of Turkish language teaching in Greek Cypriot schools and the Greek language in Turkish Cypriot schools," he said.
"The leaders of the two communities as well as the media in both communities should support this idea, since information of a peace culture is very crucial," he added.
Insiders said Anastasiades' impromptu invitation to Talat aimed at cultivating a more positive bi-communal climate in view of the imminent visit to Cyprus by US Vice President Joe Biden.
"The President also felt obliged to send a message of respect towards the former Turkish Cypriot leader who is a moderate," one said. "Especially after that recent dark incident in Limassol with (far right Elam party) extremists," added the insider.
Elam members tried to sabotage a rapprochement speech given by Talat and shouted slogans against him.