“Our goal is to achieve a solution of the Cyprus issue as soon as possible”, President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades said today, after a meeting he held with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
In statements at the Presidential Palace on his return from the meeting, the President said that the solution must be based on the expectations of the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and that the state will be fully consistent with the European standards of the rest of the EU member states.
“It was a creative meeting in the context of our efforts to create the necessary conditions with the aim to achieve what is a common goal, that is to achieve, the soonest possible, a solution that would meet the expectations of the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots. A solution that would ensure that this state will be fully consistent with European standards of the EU member states,” he stressed.
Asked about the opening of more crossing points and in particular the one at Pyrogi, as part of the Confidence Building Measures (CBM), he said that there are some practical difficulties and the issue is referred to the technical committees and the committee on crossing points. The aim, he said, is to find the ways to overcome those practical difficulties.
“And it is not only Pyrogi, it is the one at Pyrgos and other areas,” he added.
It is noted that the leaders decided today to `work towards the opening of more crossing points, starting with Lefka-Aplici and Deryneia. In addition, they referred a number of other proposed crossing points for further examination to the committee on crossings.
Asked about the appeal of the two leaders earlier today as regards the humanitarian issue of missing persons, the President of the Republic expressed hope that anyone who has any information on this issue will come forward and reassured that those who give the information will be treated with confidentiality.
Replying to questions, the President said that the appeal of the two leaders on the missing persons issue is made for the first time. He recalled that with the former Turkish Cypriot leader (Dervis Eroglu) they had visited the Anthropological Laboratory but `unfortunately it was not possible to issue a similar announcement`.
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met today in the UN buffer zone in Nicosia and announced a series of Confidence Building Measures including the opening of the Lefca – Aplici and Dereneia crossing points.
UN SG`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide said after the conclusion of the second meeting between the two leaders, on Thursday, that they also made a joint appeal on the “crucial humanitarian issue of missing persons”. Apart from the opening of the two crossing points the CBMs include looking into the interconnection of the electricity grids, the interoperability of mobile telephones the prevention of radio frequency interferences and the establishment of a gender equality technical committee.
The Republic of Cyprus is divided by Turkish troops since the Turkish invasion in 1974. UN led talks aiming at reunifying the island under a federal roof resumed this month after the Greek Cypriot side had suspended them last October due to Turkey`s violation of Cyprus` sovereign rights in the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone.