Spokesman: Prospects for convergences on some issues but difficulties and disagreements remain on ot

Spokesman: Prospects for convergences on some issues but difficulties and disagreements remain on ot

Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides said on Tuesday that there are issues in the chapter of Governance on which there are prospects for further convergences between the positions of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot side, however there are also issues on which there are difficulties and disagreements.

In statements to the press in Geneva, after the conclusion of a meeting Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci had on Tuesday morning to discusses issues related to the chapter of Governance, Christodoulides said that the leaders discussed among other issues the participation and the procedure for the decision making process at the federal institutions and the amendment of the constitution.

Responding to a question, the Spokesman said, in his statements made earlier this afternoon, that the rotating presidency issue was not discussed this morning by the leaders.

The spokesman said that at 1630 local time the negotiators and the experts of the two sides would meet to further discuss certain issues on Governance. He said that “these are difficult and sensitive issues, and the dialogue needs to continue”, adding that the leaders will have a meeting at 1800 to discuss the issues of Governance and later on EU matters and the Economy.

He added that for all the issues related to the EU, the European Commission's representative to the talks who is in Geneva will participate in the negotiations.

The Spokesman announced that President Anastasiades had a long telephone conversation with the Greek Prime Minister Alexits Tsipras, who informed him about the telephone conversations he had with foreign leaders with regard to the Conference on Cyprus which begins on January 12.

Responding to another question, the Spokesman said that the issues relating to the chapters of Property and Governance being discussed are difficult and sensitive, especially at this phase of the negotiations.

He said that no one expected to have immediate convergences and mutual understanding on these issues. “These are difficult issues, more discussions and more consultations are needed both by the negotiators and the experts and our goal is to have results. This does not depend only on us,” he added.

Replying to another question, Christodoulides said it will be positive if there are positive results and convergences during the negotiations taking place on January 9-11, however this is not a prerequisite for the convening of the international Conference on January 12.

He also said that what is important is “to discuss these (pending) issues and find solutions” to ensure that the state will be functional.

To a remark by a journalist that the UN Secretary General Espen Barth Eide said that the international Conference is being convened by Anastasiades and Akinci, Christodoulides explained that the Conference on Cyprus is being convened by the UN Secretary General.

Replying to another question, the spokesman said that a meeting of the experts on the property issue with representatives of the World Bank and the IMF will take place in Geneva, to discuss a certain aspect of the property issue.

Asked if Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will be present at the Conference, the Spokesman indicated that as things stand right now, the Greek PM will not attend the Conference.

Replying to another question, he said that the two leaders will hold a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the territory issue and the two sides will exchange their maps and this will determine to a great extent how they will proceed with the Conference.

Replying to a question about the maps, the spokesman said that there is a co-understanding between the leaders as regards the percentage of the territory of the constituent states.

In his statements Christodoulides expressed President Anastasiades' regret about the leak to the press of a document, noting that the President has decided that he will not give any documents to the political party leaders.

He added however that the President will continue to consult with the party leaders and brief them on the talks.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Anastasiades and Akinci have been engaged in UN-led talks since May 2015 with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.

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