Cyprus talks enter critical phase
There is a preliminary agreement between the president of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot leader to issue a joint communique on September 14 concerning the results of their six meetings, government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said on Saturday, as reunification negotiations entered a critical phase.
President Nicos Anasta-siades and Mustafa Akinci on Monday are scheduled to kick off "a very substantive and critical phase of the negotiations", Christodoulides said.
During the six meetings until September 14, the two will discuss "thoroughly and in detail all chapters of the Cyprus problem" with the objective being to come to an understanding and achieve convergences on issues they currently disagree on, and examine issues that have not yet been debated in depth.
"It is a critical phase in the negotiations whose results will, to a large extent, define how the procedure will proceed," Christodoulides said.
The government spokesman said the two leaders had agreed in theory to issue a joint statement on September 14 outlining the discussions and the results of their meetings.
"I think this is one of the most critical phases of the negotiations," he said.
"For some time, we have been saying that the settlement of the Cyprus problem will be decided at the negotiating table where all the chapters are being discussed. Taking into account the phase we are in, the results of the dialogue ending on September 14 are decisive."
Regarding the possibility of a meeting between the leaders and the UN Secretary General in New York, Christodoulides said it would be decided during the last encounter between Anastasiades and Akinci.
"What I can say with certainty is that a meeting cannot take place before September 25, when the UN General Assembly finishes. If it will take place, it would be after the conclusion of the UN General Assembly," he said.
Cyprus is expected to protest Turkey’s harassment of a Cypriot research vessel off the coast of Akamas on Thursday.
Turkish frigate harasses Cypriot vessel
In the meantime Cyprus is expected to protest Turkey’s harassment of a Cypriot research vessel off the coast of Akamas last week.
On Thursday, a Turkish navy frigate approached a Cyprus-flagged vessel carrying out dolphin research on behalf of the agriculture ministry some 12 miles off the Akamas coast on the western tip of the island.
The frigate contacted the vessel and demanded that it abandoned the area because it was violating Turkish territory, daily Phileleftheros said.
Turkey claims it has rights in the area and has sought to disrupt natural gas exploration carried out by international energy companies who won concessions in the EEZ..
Three oil majors were involved in the third hydrocarbon licensing round – ExxonMobil, ENI, and Total.