The delegation of the Republic of Cyprus, at the level of deputies, met bilaterally on Wednesday with the British and Greek delegations in Mont Pelerin, Switzerland, prior to a working group meeting set to address the issue of security and guarantees, Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides said here today.
According to Christodoulides, the aim of the meeting, which the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot delegations are also attending, is to draft a working document that will allow for the continuation of the Conference on Cyprus on a political level, with positive prospects for a conclusion.
The UN hosted a Conference on Cyprus last week, as part of continuing efforts to solve the Cyprus problem and reunite the country, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. The meeting decided to establish a working group on the level of deputies, to start work on January 18 and then the conference will continue on a political level.
Speaking in Nicosia after a cabinet meeting, on Wednesday, Christodoulides said contacts at Mont Pelerin were expected to conclude this Friday, January 20.
“We are in absolute coordination with the Greek government, both on procedural matters and even more so on issues of substance,” the Spokesman said. He added that the discussion will try to provide answers on very concrete questions in relation to the chapter of security and guarantees in general. Moreover, he said he hoped that the conference will continue at a political level thereafter, with positive prospects.
Invited to comment on statements from the Turkish side, Christodoulides responded that “we are at the negotiating table” and while statements made publicly may help or harm efforts with the ongoing dialogue, they do not determine the outcome.
“The fact that we are now sitting at the same table, facing the Turkish delegation, to talk about the outcome of this discussion is what will largely determine the way the process may go further,” the Government Spokesman underlined.
The discussion on the level of deputies is significant, but “important decisions will have to be taken on a political level” he went on. According to Christodoulides, the working group will not be taking any decisions concerning the future process or the substance of the discussion.
Asked about a possible date of the next political meeting, he said there was no date as of yet and added that “we expect to see the results” and decide accordingly.
The discussion of other chapters, pertaining to the internal aspects of the Cyprus issue, will be continued on the island after the conclusion of discussions in Geneva, Christodoulides also said.
The Government Spokesman had earlier on Wednesday a meeting with the US Ambassador in Cyprus and said that they discussed both Geneva as well as the incoming US administration.
He also said that the President is expected to hold a telephone conversation with US Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday afternoon, as well as with other European officials by the end of this week.
During the next two weeks, he went on, the President of Cyprus will address PACE plenary in Strasbourg, where he will inform members of the Assembly and of the Council of Europe about Cyprus talks, and later on he will attend a summit of Mediterranean EU countries, in Portugal.
On Thursday, President Anastasiades will meet with his Greek counterpart, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who is paying a visit in Cyprus at the invitation of Archbishop Chrysostomos.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY