Ahead of Sunday’s resumption of the UN-backed peace talks in Switzerland, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades briefed Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens on Wednesday on the progress so far on the chapters regarding territorial adjustments and property, and on the thorny issues that remain open.
The first round of talks between Anastasiades and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, which ended last week at Mont Pelerin after five days of intense negotiations focusing on the issue of territory, were said to have made “significant progress,” according to a brief UN statement.
Tsipras said he and Anastasiades hope and anticipate both sides will reach an “understanding” on the criteria governing territorial adjustments.
He also insisted that a settlement must scrap the “anachronistic system of guarantees and secure the full withdrawal of Turkish troops from the island.” These, he said, are red lines for Greece and Cyprus.
Anastasiades echoed the same sentiment, saying that Turkey, as a third party, cannot insist on maintaining troops in an EU member-state.
If an agreement is reached in Switzerland, a multi-party summit is expected to be held to finalize the deal.
This will include the leaders of the Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot communities, as well as Greece, Turkey and the UK – which are Cyprus’s three guarantor powers.
The Cypriot leader’s visit came on the heels of the trip to Greece by outgoing US President Barack Obama, who discussed the encouraging prospects of a solution to the decades-long dispute.
He said that a solution “won’t provide 100 percent of what either side wants, [and] there may be some mechanisms for a transition, from the status quo to the future that both sides envision, but I think it’s achievable.”