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There must be proposals on all core issues, Cyprus President tells Eroglu

03 June, 2014

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades made it clear, on Monday, to Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu that there has to be proposals from both sides on all core issues of the Cyprus problem, these must be in turn examined and convergences must be achieved before the ongoing talks for the reunification of the island can proceed to the next and 3rd phase.

Cyprus has been divided in 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN backed talks have been underway since February, between President Anastasiades and Eroglu with a view of reuniting the island under a federal roof.

Credible sources have said that a meeting between the two leaders on Monday which lasted for three hours, was “difficult”.

President Anastasiades, they said, made it clear that there is no chance that talks will enter the third phase if proposals on all aspects of all the core issues are not submitted for discussion.

At the same time he expressed his readiness to submit proposals on all aspects by August.

We cannot move to the next phase, he said, unless proposals on all aspects are submitted, reviewed and common ground is found.

President Anastasiades referred in particular to the aspect of territory, noting that it consitutes on of the most important aspects for Greek Cypriots.

The same sources say that the greatest part of the three hour meeting was spent discussing this as well as the EU`s role in the process.

The Turkish Cypriot side appeared negative on the territory aspect until with the positive contribution of the UN, it was agreed to include in a statement read out after the meeting by UN SG`s Special Representative in Cyprus Lisa Buttenheim a phrase that states that the two leaders agreed “to submit and to continue submitting proposals on all core issues, as well as to conclude this phase as soon as possible”.

President Anastasiades also proposed to establish four new technical committees, namely, a Committee on Commerce and Industry, a Trade Unions Committee, a Committee on Reconstruction and Resettlement and an EU Committee.

The Turkish Cypriot leader said that he would rather that existing technical committees resume their work. As regards the establishment of new ones, he said he would discuss the matter with Turkish Cypriot actors and would think it over.

The same sources say that the Greek Cypriot members of all technical committees, headed by Ambassador Andreas Pirishis, will be announced within the next few days.

The Turkish Cypriot side was negative on the creation of an EU technical committee. A matter which was discussed at length during the meeting.

President Anastasiades is said to have explained that the leaders would not be bound by the technical committee but rather that it would be helpful if they were aware of whether certain proposals were in line with the acquis communautaire.

He also proposed that if Eroglu would prefer it so that they request a new EU representative on the Cyprus talks. However, Eroglu`s stance remained a negative one.

Replying to a question as to whether it is likely that a meeting will take place between the two leaders and the UN Secretary General, the same sources say that the UN are not positively inclined for such a meeting to take place unless there is first progress achieved in the talks.