Speaking to CNA on Saturday, Christodoulides said the negotiators of the two sides will be meeting almost on a daily basis, adding that the two leaders, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci are scheduled to hold two meetings, on January 4 and 7.
Furthermore, President Anastasiades will brief the Holly Synod on January 4 and he will convene a meeting of the National Council, the top advisory body to the President comprising the leaders of the parliamentary parties, on January 5.
Anastasiades and Akinci have decided that the UN-sponsored talks will continue in Geneva, Switzerland. On 9-11 the two sides will discuss the remaining issues of the Cyprus problem and present maps concerning territorial adjustments, while on January 12 a conference on Cyprus will be convened with the participation of the guarantor powers as well as other relevant parties as needed.
“We will fully utilise the remaining time by continuing and intensifying the preparations ahead of the crucial meetings in Geneva, the first phase of the negotiations between the two leaders and the commencement of the conference on Cyprus on January 12,” Christodoulides said.
“The preparations,” he concluded, “relate to both procedural matters as well as issues of substance, pertaining, on the one hand, to existing disagreements and approaches between the two sides, as well the chapter of security and guarantees which is expected to preoccupy the conference on Cyprus to begin on January 12.”
The Geneva meetings were finalised after a dinner between President Anastasiades and Akinci in the presence of the UN top envoy on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide on December 1. President Anastasiades told the press after the dinner that until January 9th, the dialogue will intensify with the aim to bridge the gaps and existing disagreements.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have been engaged in UN-backed talks since May 2015 with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.