Negotiators set for Cyprus talk meeting on Tuesday

The negotiators of the two sides in Cyprus, engaged in peace talks, are meeting on Tuesday ahead of Thursday’s meeting between the leaders of the island’s two communities.

Tuesday’s meeting is taking place following a decision by Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to ask the United Nations to prepare, in consultation with the guarantor powers, for the continuation of the Conference on Cyprus at political level in early March.

According to CNA sources, the Conference is not scheduled to take place before March 6.

The two negotiators, Andreas Mavroyiannis and Ozdil Nami, participated last Thursday and Friday in a seminar on the funding of a prospective solution, which was essentially a first exchange of views and a discussion of ideas under such a framework.

The World Bank and the IMF were also represented at the seminar, in addition to British officials, including High Commissioner in Nicosia Mathew Kidd.

Participants to the seminar discussed, among other issues, things that the UK Government has suggested as complementary to any direct funding, such as government bonds and investment initiatives.

The idea of the seminar is to keep this exchange of views on available options open, while the negotiations on a political level continue.

UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide said in a written statement, following the meeting which Anastasiades and Akinci had on February 1st in the framework of UN-led talks, that the two leaders decided that they will meet weekly through the month of February to address outstanding issues and that their negotiators will also continue their regular meetings.

The Conference on Cyprus convened under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, with the participation of Anastasiades and Akinci, the Foreign Ministers of Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom as guarantor powers, and in the presence of the European Union as an observer, to address the issue of security and guarantees, a crucial chapter in discussions for a Cyprus settlement.

The Conference decided to establish a working group at the level of deputies to identify specific questions and the instruments needed to address them, and that the Conference will continue at political level immediately thereafter to review the outcome of the working group’s discussions.

In parallel, according to the decision, the negotiations on outstanding issues in the other chapters will continue between the two sides in Cyprus.

The working group of deputies met in Mont-Pelerin, Switzerland, on January 18-19, and according to the UNSG`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide “successfully completed the mandate entrusted to it by the Conference.”

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Anastasiades and Akinci have been engaged in UN-led negotiations since May 2015, with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.

source: CNA