Meeting between UNSG and Turkish FM ''very good'' says Eide

Meeting between UNSG and Turkish FM ''very good'' says Eide

The meeting between the UNSG Antonio Guterres and the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was very good, the SG's Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide has said.

Guterres and Cavusoglu met on Thursday for an hour, in a meeting that was described by the UN as a lead-up to the Geneva talks for the Cyprus problem. UNSG is set to meet Greek FM Nikos Kotzias on Friday.

Speaking after the meeting, the Turkish FM said we are now coming to the final stage and that the two sides and the UNSG's team ''are working out very constructively on convergences''.

According to Cavusoglu, there are still open issues and the two sides will continue negotiating all these issues in Geneva between the 9th and the 11th, before the final conference. ''On the 12th, the two sides plus the three guarantor countries, plus a consultant of the EU will be there, so we will discuss all other issues in the final conference. As Turkey we have been supporting this process'', he added.

Asked how optimistic he is that there could be an agreement, the Turkish FM said that he is more optimistic than ever.

''Personally I am an optimistic person, not in every case, because the situation in Syria sometimes makes me pessimistic. But I am also realistic. There are serious issues. It’s not an easy thing, but the modalities are there, the framework is there and the understanding is here. So, we can reach a settlement in Cyprus. And we need this. Not only as Turkey, Greece and the two sides in Cyprus, but the Eastern Mediterranean – our region – and the world need such a positive development. It is not easy, but we have the determination'', he noted.

Referring to his meeting in New York with his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias, Cavusoglu said that they were going to discuss bilateral issues and also the Cyprus issue.

''Nikos (Kotzias) and I get together quite often, sometimes formally and sometimes informally. He came to Turkey a couple of times and I went to a Greek island. We discuss many issues including Cyprus, so I look forward having him tomorrow at breakfast to discuss bilateral and regional issues but mainly Cyprus'', he said.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have been engaged in UN-backed talks since May 2015 with a view to reunify the island under a federal roof.

Anastasiades and Akinci have decided that the UN-sponsored talks will continue in Geneva, Switzerland. Between January 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 (Greece, UK and Turkey) as well as other relevant parties as needed.

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