The new Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar on Monday accepted President Anastasiades’ proposal for a get together, that is set to take place in UN premises in Nicosia.
According to government spokesman Kyriakos Koushos, Tatar accepted Anastasiades’ invitation for a meeting to get to know each other, as the two will now be tasked with negotiating the future of the Cyprus Problem.
Following Tatar’s acceptance, Anastasiades contacted the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative in Cyprus, Elizabeth Spehar, whom he briefed about the two leaders’ intention to meet. Spehar undertook the responsibility to make all necessary arrangements to this end, in the UN premises in Nicosia, the spokesman said.
After that, the President contacted by phone the outgoing Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, whom he thanked for the cooperation they had until today, Koushos added.
Anastasiades assured Akinci that they will remain in contact and noted that he looks forward to his contribution as regards the efforts for a Cyprus settlement. Akinci on his part confirmed that he will be at the disposal of the two leaders in their effort for a settlement, as well as for the prevalence of peace, stability and prosperity in Cyprus.
Five-party meeting on Cyprus
Meanwhile, Koushos said the government hopes that Tatar will positively respond to a call by the UNSG for an informal five-party meeting on the Cyprus issue, adding that “we hope that there will be a productive dialogue that will lead to a just, functional and viable solution to the Cyprus problem.”
Asked by the Cyprus News Agency whether the government is worried that, in view of his stated positions, Tatar will adopt a different approach as regards the Cyprus settlement than the one provided by the UN Security Council resolutions, Koushos said that “we have already defined our positions and our orientation about the negotiations and the settlement of the Cyprus problem” adding that "we will have to wait and see Tatar’s position, as it will be outlined during the informal five-party meeting."
He stressed that “we are ready, as the Cyprus President has repeatedly stated, to proceed with talks with a view to continue the negotiations for a Cyprus settlement on the basis of the UN resolutions, EU principles and values and what has already been agreed.”
He added that “our position is that we must continue from where negotiations were suspended in Crans-Montana.”
Asked if there is any information that the UNSG’s special envoy Jane Holl Lute will return for consultations, the spokesman said they did not have such information.
With the new Turkish Cypriot leader chosen, the Greek Cypriot side will now be contacting the UNSG to see how he intends to proceed after his recent statement expressing his intentions to launch and initiative for the resumption of talks.
Commission urges Tatar to engage in constructive dialogue
The Commission on Monday urged the new leader of the Turkish Cypriot community to enter into a dialogue in a constructive manner and with a sense of urgency, with a view to achieving a comprehensive settlement and reunification of the island, according to a written statement issued in Brussels.
Commission spokesperson Vivian Loonela stated that "the European Union notes that the electoral process in the Turkish Cypriot community has now been completed with Mr Tatar receiving the majority of votes. It is now crucial that the Cyprus settlement talks resume. The EU expects Mr Tatar to start a dialogue in a constructive manner and with a sense of urgency, with a view to achieving a comprehensive settlement and reunification of the island."
The statement added that "the European Union supports the speedy resumption of negotiations, under the auspices of the United Nations, and remains fully committed to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem within the framework of the United Nations and in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including Resolutions 550 and 789 and in accordance with the principles on which the EU is based."
UK ready to work with Anastasiades and Tatar to resume Cyprus settlement talks
The UK Government reiterated its readiness to resume talks on a settlement of the Cyprus issue that would see the island reunified in line with UN resolutions.
Wendy Morton, the UK’s Minister for the European Neighbourhood and the Americas at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, whose portfolio features the Cyprus issue, reacted to Ersin Tatar’s victory with a post on Twitter on Monday morning, which confirmed that the UK stands ready to work with Tatar, Anastasiades, Greece, Turkey, and the UN to restart talks.