(K) Cyprus President visits Athens “for support and agreement” on resumption of talks

(K) Cyprus President visits Athens “for support and agreement” on resumption of talks

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades will be in Athens on Friday to brief the country’s political leadership on the expected resumption of the bicommunal talks “in one of the most decisive phases of the Cyprus problem”, as put to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) by a diplomatic source.

Anastasiades is expected, according to other sources, to explain to the Greek President, the Prime Minister, and the leaders of parliamentary parties besides the nationalist Golden Dawn, that he will return to the negotiating table under the condition that Turkey will commit itself not to “engage in other offensive actions”, that there will not be “any other terms”, and that talks will resume “where they were stopped”.

The negotiations were suspended in October 2014, after Turkey issued a nautical advisory and sent warships and a seismic data ship to explore for natural gas within Cyprus` exclusive economic zone.

Early this month, the government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said the UN special envoy for Cyprus had conveyed to President Anastasiades a message from Ankara that, following the withdrawal of a Turkish seismographic ship from Cyprus` exclusive economic zone, Turkey will not renew its nautical advisory for further natural gas exploration.

“In view of these facts, and taking into consideration our strong desire for a solution to the Cyprus problem the earliest possible, our side is ready to withdraw its decision for the suspension of its participation in the negotiating process,” the spokesman said.

During his Athens visit, President Anastasiades is expected to explain to the Greek leaders why he judges that, under the above mentioned conditions, and also bearing in mind the results of the forthcoming illegal elections, on Sunday, in the northern Turkish occupied areas of the island, “this is the appropriate moment for the Cyprus problem to enter a substantial phase towards its solution”.

According to other diplomatic sources in Athens, President Anastasiades will most probably also refer to the stance of the so-called “international players” on the Cyprus issue, namely the UN, the USA, Britain, and the EU.

The President of the Republic of Cyprus will hold talks in Athens with President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, ex Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, and leaders of other opposition parties.

“In this phase, the President will reasonably want to gain maximum support and agreement, from wherever this may come”, a senior diplomatic source in Athens told CNA.