Cypriot government “composed” over prospects of community leaders’ meeting

However, the Cypriot government source said thorny issues in the path to an agreement tempered prospects for progress.

The Cypriot government “remains composed” over the prospects of a meeting of the leaders of the estranged Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities this week to explore the prospects of resuming peace negotiations, state-ran Cyprus News Agency reported Tuesday, quoting a government source.

It quoted the unnamed source as expressing expectations that President Nicos Anastasiades, acting in his capacity as the leader of Greek Cypriots, and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, at their meeting on Friday “will record their willingness to continue meeting and to pursue efforts for the resumption of settlement negotiations”.

UN Secretary General’s personal envoy on Cyprus, Jane Holl Lute, was reported by the government spokesman as telling Anastasiades that she will be closely watching the meeting, in the hope that it will allow her to visit Cyprus before September so as to arrange a possible meeting with the Secretary General after the UN General Assembly.

She also reportedly told Anastasiades during a telephone conversation on Monday night that her visit will be preceded by consultations with the three guarantor powers — Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom, as well as the European Union.

However, the Cypriot government source said thorny issues in the path to an agreement tempered prospects for progress.

The source cited a proposal by Akinci to set up a joint committee to manage hydrocarbon exploration, Turkish drilling close to the Cypriot shores and a move to expand Turkish Cypriot control over Greek properties by opening the ghost city of Famagusta under the Turkish Cypriot administration.

The city has been fenced off for 45 years and was under the direct control of the Turkish army.