''It would not be far-fetched to speak of restarting the Cyprus peace talks in the beginning of 2019'' said DISY President Averof Neophytou. ''The process, of course cannot be open-ended’’, he emphasized, responding to calls by opposition parties not to commit to a timetable.
Neophytou warned that maintaining the status quo entails dangers.
Speaking to the state broadcaster Neophytou explained that before the end of the year the two sides will submit their terms of reference, specifying negotiation methodology and issues that need to be discussed further, paving the way for ''convergence and agreement''.
''We cannot start with a summit'', the head of the ruling party said, proposing that pending problems must be solved beforehand.
Responding to criticism by AKEL that the government is moving towards a NATO solution, Neophytou said that NATO is present in Cyprus in many ways. ''The UK, Greece and Turkey all have troops in Cyprus and are NATO members'' he said.
Neophytou argued that following a solution of the Cyprus problem, there is no reason for Cyprus not to join NATO given that as a member, NATO will be able to guarantee the security of Cyprus.
''However I will not call for this now, taking into consideration the sensitivities of the party of the left AKEL, since we need its support to find a solution to the Cyprus problem’’.