President pessimistic about New York talks

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President Nicos Anastasiades holds “little hope” of a positive outcome from the informal meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar in New York on 27 September.

Guterres will hold lunch for the Cypriot leaders to find common ground for resuming deadlocked Cyprus talks.

President Anastasiades said that he is not as optimistic as he would like to be because of the repeated statements by either Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu or Tatar on a two-state solution.

He emphasised that although he is ready to attend the meeting, there are doubts about achieving a positive outcome.

“Ankara`s interventions, objections and pretexts, which Tatar used to avoid a resumption of substantive negotiations, based on the work achieved in previous years.

“I would be over-optimistic to say, taking into account the positions of Tatar, reiterating what is dictated by Ankara, that there can be a positive result.

“We are determined to give it our all, in the sense of clarifying proposals that have been submitted, and if the other side shows goodwill and redefines goals, to create conditions that will allow us to continue towards a new dialogue.

“I am not as optimistic as I would like to be in the face of repeated statements by either Erdogan or Cavusoglu that a prerequisite for starting a dialogue is the recognition of the sovereignty of the illegally formed state.

“I hope that there will be a shift from the positions they expressed then, and I say a wish because unfortunately, Tatar repeats the same today as in the past.”

Anastasiades argued the Turkish position is equivalent to partition and outside the agreed UN framework for peace negotiations which have stalled since 2017.

He said a reunified Cyprus would give equal rights to all Cypriots in a functional state.

Guterres meeting

Anastasiades on Tuesday will hold talks with Guterres in New York, where he is taking part in the UN General Assembly session.

He will convey to Guterres the various alternative proposals he has made to achieve a breakthrough.

Such as the decentralisation of powers to lessen likely conflict at the federal level, the establishment of a parliamentary democracy, substantive confidence-building measures for a positive climate to create the necessary conditions for the resumption of talks.