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FM says developments signal serious effort in Cyprus reunification process

05 May, 2014

Developments next week will signal a serious effort in the Cyprus reunification process, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ioannis Kasoulides has said.

In statements on the sidelines of a Democratic Rally party congress, on Sunday, in Nicosia, Kasoulides noted that the coming week is very important both as regards the Cyprus issue and Cyprus in general.

Firstly, he said, “we are entering the second phase of talks”, assuring that the Greek Cypriot side enters the talks responsibly and with the political will to see things move ahead.

“I think that the President of the Republic will let UN Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman know what we wish for and will then travel to Berlin where he will hold a very important meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel,” he added.

“These developments, I believe, will signal a serious effort which logically follows after the joint declaration of February 11,” between President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, he said.

Cyprus was divided in 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. After the joint declaration of February 11, a new UN backed effort to reunify the island resumed.

He explained that the first phase of talks included a screening process of each side`s positions. During this period, no great progress was expected to be achieved, he explained.

However, he added, from May 6 onwards the progress achieved can be steady with a pace which will be determined by the obstacles ahead.

Asked about the aspects of the Cyprus issue that will be discussed, he said that as far as he knows talks will begin on Tuesday with the property issue and the powers of the executive. However, he added, it will be up to the negotiators to decide whether positions on new chapters will be discussed in the next meeting or whether a certain number of meetings will focus on these two aspects.

Invited to comment on statements by Eroglu that the chapter of territory will be discussed last, Kasoulides made it clear that the agreed joint declaration provides that all main aspects of the problem are interconnected and have to be discussed.

“We are not prepared to discuss only half of the problem,” he pointed out.

Asked whether Feltman will be assuming a special role in the Cyprus process, Kasoulides said that he will be in Cyprus to be briefed on the Cyprus issue which falls within the remit of his responsibilities.

He explained that UN representatives in Cyprus answer to Feltman so it makes sense that he should visit Cyprus and be briefed first hand on what is happening.

No special role is needed for the person who is responsible for the Cyprus issue and is a few steps under the Secretary General in order for him to take an interest in the UN SG`s Good Offices.