Leaders announce opening of Lefca – Aplici and Deryneia crossing points (2)

Leaders announce opening of Lefca – Aplici and Deryneia crossing points (2)

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have announced a series of Confidence Building Measures including the opening of the Lefca – Aplici and Deryneia crossing points.

As UN SG`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide said after the conclusion of the second meeting between the two leaders, on Thursday, they also made a joint appeal on the “crucial humanitarian issue of missing persons”.

He announced that apart from the opening of the two crossing points they also referred a number of other proposed crossing points for further examination to the committee on crossings.

The other CBMs include looking into the interconnection of the electricity grids and to start taking practical steps towards this goal, the interoperability of mobile telephones which they will refer to the technical committee on economic and commercial matters and their respective experts.

In parallel, work will commence to prevent radio frequency interferences whildt the two leaders also agreed to establish a gender equality technical committee and exchanged the names of the people in the technical committee on culture agreed upon in their last meeting.

According to Eide during their meeting Anastasiades and Akinci “took the next steps towards fulfilling their joint vision for a united federal Cyprus.”

“Their constructive dialogue included a range of core issues that go to the very heart of the Cyprus question”, he stressed.

He continued noting that the two leaders “underlined once again their shared will and determination to reach a comprehensive settlement.”

“The two leaders believe that outcomes at the negotiating table should reflect the positive atmosphere prevailing on the island”, he said.

In this, as he put it, “leader-led process, Mr. Anastasiades and Mr. Akıncı agreed that their next meetings will take place on Wednesday, 17 June, Monday, 29 June, Friday, 10 July and Monday, 27 July.”

At the same time he spoke of the work done by the two negotiators Andreas Mavroyiannis and Ozdil Nami who met five times over the past two weeks and “worked tirelessly on all aspects of the Cyprus issue in order to reach a comprehensive understanding of where the two sides currently stand.”

“In various areas, progress was achieved”, he said, adding that “they presented the outcome of their work so far to the leaders, who provided further guidance and requested their negotiators to continue their joint work.”

Going forward, Eide said, “the leaders agreed to explore a range of other possible confidence-building measures in parallel to the substantive negotiations.”

Joint Appeal on Missing Persons

The UN SG`s Special Adiviser on Cyprus read the two leaders joint statement on the missing persons.

“The issue of missing persons is one of the most painful chapters in the history of Cyprus”, the two leaders` statement reads.

Healing this open wound at the earliest, they say, “is important in terms of easing the pain of the missing persons` relatives.”

“As time goes by the prospect of finding the missing persons is becoming more and more difficult, therefore as the two leaders we call on anyone who might possess information on possible burial sites of missing persons to share this information with the CMP without hesitation”, they urge.

At the same time they “guarantee that their confidentiality will be fully respected.”

“We believe that this is the humanitarian duty that should be fulfilled.” the two leaders assure.

Cyprus was divided in 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. This was the second meeting between Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci since the resumption of UN backed talks for the reunification of the island under a federal roof on May 15.