Leaders to meet again today
President Mustafa Akıncı and Greek Cypriot Leader Nikos Anastasiades have met again today as part of the intensified negotiation process. The two Leaders held their fourth July meeting today at 10.00 at the building allocated by the UN for the negotiations in the buffer zone.
Federal executive, legislature and judiciary issues were due to be on the agenda.
Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “We regret Minister Kotzias’ statements”
The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed its disappointment at comments made by the Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias.
The Ministry has indicated that establishing links between the attempted coup in Turkey on 15 July 2016 and Turkey’s status as a guarantor power of the Cypriot Constitution, emanating from the Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance in 1960, is not only irrelevant but illogical.
It was strongly emphasized that Greece has, as a guarantor power, a duty to approach this issue responsibly while critical negotiations are taking place on the island.
Recitals by Turkish Cypriot Pianist Rüya Taner in Finland and Estonia
The Turkish Cypriot pianist Rüya Taner gave a recital in Finland at the ‘Emasalo Music Festival.’
Taner will also take the stage at the festival entitled ‘Summer Dream’ in Parnu, Estonia. This recital will be held in partnership with the Embassy of Turkey in Estonia and H.E. Ambassador Hayriye Kumaşçıoğlu, as well as the ‘Summer Dream’ festival.
President Akıncı: “With lessons from the past and respect for our mutual rights, we can build the future”
President Mustafa Akıncı said that it would be very difficult to negotiate a solution while a presidential election campaign is taking place in South Cyprus. The campaign is due to commence in 2017. He expressed his belief that Nikos Anastasiades has to make a decision between being a Leader for his community and being one of the presidential candidates for 2018.
Speaking to BRT, Akıncı said that for the first time in the negotiation process, the two Leaders have come to an agreement regarding the year 2016. There remains work to be done, he added.
Akıncı stated: “We still haven’t discussed territory, guarantees & security issues but we have made important progress on the other four chapters: the economy, the EU, property and governance & power sharing”. By 29 July, all issues except those relating to security & guarantees will have been taken up at the multi-party conference, he noted.
Akıncı also affirmed that both parties agreed it was still too early to talk about any proposed new border.
Referring to the natural gas reserves on the island, President Akıncı said that several international companies are planning to restart drilling in 2017 and warned that this could lead to new tensions, if mishandled.
President of Religious Affairs Prof. Dr.Talip Atalay and Greek Cypriot Archbishop Hrisostomos II met with the Swedish Ambassador Klas Gierow
President of Religious Affairs Prof. Dr. Talip Atalay and Greek Cypriot Archbishop Hrisostomos II met with the Swedish Ambassador H.E. Klas Gierow whose posting to Cyprus will finish at the end of this month.
According to the statement given by the Office of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process, which was established under the umbrella of the Swedish Embassy, both religious leaders thanked the Ambassador for his contribution towards developing positive relations between religious communities as well as fostering peace on the island.
H.E. Ambassador Gierow stated that dialogue and communication between the religious leaders is an important part of a healthy society which respects human rights and religious freedom. The Ambassador warmly thanked Atalay and Hrisostomos, stating that religious leaders also make positive contributions to the peace process in Cyprus.
Asbestos has been disposed of in Troodos
The Greek Cypriot Geological Survey Department has granted permission to the British bases on the island to dump asbestos in the Amiantos area, near Troodos.
The process started last November and 70 to 90 containers of asbestos have since been produced across five different British bases.
Eide: “Nothing will postpone the negotiations”
The UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, has said that there are no factors that will postpone the negotiations. This comment was made in light of the recent developments in Turkey, after the failed coup attempt.
Asked how the political crisis in Turkey might impact its stance on the Cyprus issue, Eide said the UN has currently seen no evidence of a shift:
“Right now, there is no sign of any change in the Turkish government’s position. It has consistently been supportive of the talks. In fact, there have been a number of conversations going on, all of which suggest that this position will not change.”
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