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17-04-2018 21:27

Remarks by the President of the Republic following his dinner/meeting with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community (16 April, 2018)

The appointment of an envoy is not ruled out, if the UN Secretary General wishes to send someone in order to explore the probabilities for the resumption of a dialogue, said the President of the Republic Mr. Nicos Anastasiades tonight.

In his remarks to reporters on his return to the Presidential Palace from the residence of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Cyprus Mrs. Elizabeth Spehar, where he attended a dinner with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mr. Mustafa Akinci, the President of the Republic said that "as the United Nations have also announced, there was a two hour person to person meeting with Mr. Akinci, during which, with a lot of frankness but also cordiality, we have gone through the problems that are confronted, the prospect of a new dialogue.

We ascertained the disagreements that exist. I have repeated that on our side we are ready to begin from where the dialogue at Crans Montana had ended in July. He, himself, did not rule out the possibility as also no one ruled out the possibility, if the Secretary General of the United Nations wishes to send a personal envoy in order to explore the probabilities for the resumption of a dialogue with the parameters of the Secretary General as the main subject, for it to take place."

Asked whether there was common ground in this meeting, the President said "if you consider as common ground the ascertainment that both sides persist in their positions!"

In response to a question whether Mr. Akinci insists on the issue of setting up a bi-communal technical committee for natural gas, the President said that "he raised the issue, but he knew in advance my stance and consequently it did not take long to repeat the position that it is out of the question for discussion or for something similar to be submitted at the negotiating table, that is to say either the postponement of the energy program and/or a mixed committee, etc."

Asked whether the two sides agreed tonight to have no objection to the appointment of an envoy or for an exploratory procedure, the President said "that is not ruled out."

In response to a question whether during the dinner issues of governance were raised, the President of the Republic said that "it was not a dialogue with a focus. References were made to the existing differences, whether one side persists on those things that it supports and the other on those things that it had supported. But no detailed dialogue or negotiation took place."

Asked to say whether they discussed issues pertaining to the opening of crossing points (between the occupied and the government controlled areas of Cyprus) the President said "yes. We have said that by 1 July the crossing point of Dheryneia will probably be handed over, and around the middle pf September the crossing point that connects Lefka with Apliki."

Responding to an observation by a reporter that Mr. Akinci makes an issue out of the natural gas and asked whether our side has raised the issue of the Turkish provocation, President Anastasiades said that "everything has been raised, mentioned and discussed."

Finally, in response to a question as to whether a new period of preparation will commence or there will be a period of stagnation, the President said "this depends on the Secretary General, if and provided he will decide to send someone on an exploratory mission."

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RM/MKY/SCH