Maps on the issue of Territory were exchanged last night, 11 January, in Geneva by the leaders of the two communities, in the context of the talks on the Cyprus problem.
In remarks to reporters late at night, at the UN headquarters in Geneva, the Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides, said that “as it was agreed at a meeting of the two leaders that was concluded a while ago in the presence of Mr Espen Barth Eide, Special Adviser of the UN Secretary General on Cyprus, and the cartographers of the Greek Cypriot side, the Turkish Cypriot side and the United Nations, the maps were exchanged; maps which are within the framework that was agreed in Mont Pelerin, namely 28,2% to 29,2%.
In essence, it is the first time in the history of the negotiations that this exchange of maps takes place. We consider it as a particularly positive development. At the same time, from the study that was made of the map submitted by the Turkish Cypriot side, it was initially examined if it corresponds to the facts, namely the 29,2% limit. At the same time, there are provisions and aspects of the map that don’t satisfy us, in other words it is not satisfactory as a final outcome, and the disagreements have been submitted by the President of the Republic and surely in writing.”
Invited to say whether this is a basis for what will follow, the Spokesman said that “it is significant, I repeat, the fact that, in essence, it is the first time since 1976 that we have such a development. It is positive that it is within the framework of what has been agreed in Mont Pelerin. Beyond that, it is not the end of the road. It is the beginning, if you wish, of a negotiation on a very important chapter of the Cyprus problem.”
Asked if they will proceed to the Conference on Cyprus, the Spokesman said that “from the moment that the criterion which was agreed upon has been satisfied, naturally it (the process) moves on so that we can begin tomorrow the Conference of Geneva. Beyond that, you understand that the issue of Territory will continue like all the other chapters that concern the domestic dimensions of the Cyprus problem. Their negotiation will continue.”
Invited to say whether the negotiation in Geneva will continue, he said that “no, the negotiation concludes shortly. Parallel to the meeting of the two leaders, there were two other meetings: A meeting of the interlocutors about issues on the effective participation of the Turkish Cypriots with regard to governance, a dialogue which will continue by the interlocutors; I repeat, not tomorrow. The day tomorrow concerns exclusively issues of Security and Guarantees. There was also one other discussion at a level of experts on European Union issues. On all these issues that, I repeat, concern the domestic dimensions, the dialogue will continue, but not tomorrow.” He added that the maps were kept by the UN.
In response to another question, the Spokesman said that “there is not any other scheduled meeting for discussion of the domestic issues that concern the domestic dimension of the Cyprus problem. I repeat that tomorrow is an important day for the Cyprus problem and we are concentrating on tomorrow’s Conference.”
Asked when there will be an effort to achieve improvement of the positions on aspects that they don’t find to their satisfaction, the Spokesman said that “when the two leaders agree on the resumption of the dialogue that concern the domestic dimensions of the Cyprus problem, among which are the issues of Property and Territory. There has not been any discussion as to how the dialogue will proceed.”
Asked whether the limit is 29,2% or less, he said that “the maps that have been submitted are within the limit that was agreed.”
In response to another question, he said that the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, Mr Nikos Kotzias, arrived in Switzerland and had already communicated with the Greek Cypriot side and that he will have a meeting the same night with the President of the Republic.
Responding to a question the Spokesman said that with regard to tomorrow’s Conference “we are talking about a multilateral conference, at which the EU will be present as an interested party. It is not a signatory party in the Treaty of Guarantee, as you all know, but the EU will be present; in fact, it will be represented at the highest level by the President of the Commission. And, if you wish, the EU has an obligation to be present on the basis of Article 43, Paragraph 7 of the relevant treaty of the EU.”/IBNA