Nicosia, July 13 (IANS) The leaders of the estranged Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities tackled yet another issue on Tuesday in their quest for a solution reunifying their partitioned island-country.
Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades said that in a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci they made inroads in discussing the economy and the relations of a reunified state with the European Union, Xinhua reported.
Anastasiades said that the two leaders instructed a joint committee of technocrats to work on the issue with a view of striking absolute convergence on all points.
“We have to reach concrete results, so that we get to convergences. I wouldn’t say that I am not optimistic that we can agree. I see an intention on both sides to make efforts to eliminate any divergences,” he said.
Anastasiades and Akinci are scheduled to start discussing perhaps the most complicated chapter of the 4-decade old Cyprus problem – territorial adjustments, withdrawal of occupation troops, repatriation of tens of thousands of Turkish settlers and security arrangements.
Actual decisions on the issue have to be made by the Turkish government, which has said that it supported a Cyprus solution but did not yet give any indication how far it is prepared to go to reach this target.
A solution to the Cyprus problem will unlock Turkey’s negotiations for accession to the European Union.
Anastasiades met on Tuesday with visiting US Assistant Secretary of State in charge of European affairs Victoria Nuland, saying he requested an intervention by the American government towards Turkey to respond positively to moves required for a solution.
“There are problems which exist because of the Turkish stand on the problem,” said Anastasiades.