President Christofias and Talat Conclude 17th Meeting on Property Issues
Nicosia, Jan. 28 – The leaders of the two communities, President Christofias and Mr. Talat held their 17th meeting in the framework of the UN-led direct negotiations today.
The President was accompanied by Presidential Commissioner George Iacovou, head of the working group on governance Andreas Mavrommatis, head of the working group on properties Erato Kozakou Markoullis, member of the working group on properties Andreas Symeou, and aides Toumazos Tsielepis and Menelaos Menelaou.
During the meeting, which took place at the UN protected area of the old now defunct Nicosia airport at 10:00 a.m., the two leaders discussed property issues.
Responding to questions in Nicosia yesterday, the President said that the Greek Cypriot side proceeds to the talks with the best intentions. He added that “we will defend principles and the right of each citizen to his property and his right to choose how to use his property.”
The President expressed certainty that the Turkish Cypriot side will continue to maintain the same stance it has for a long time and that it will seek to secure compensation and exchange of properties.
“I do not want to prejudge anything and I hope that I am not vindicated in this approach and that we shall have a good discussion with mutual understanding. I believe the days to come will not be easy, bearing in mind recent statements by Mr. Talat on the property issue which is linked to the right of refugees to return to their homes and the presence of illegal Turkish settlers in occupied Cyprus. However, we are more than ready for the discussion,” the President said.
Invited to comment on statements by Mr. Talat that the Cyprus problem can be solved by June-July this year, President Christofias said that making wishes alone cannot solve problems.
“Will and dedication to justice are needed. As left-wing politicians, we should both find a common language, guided by the principles of social and natural justice and our dedication to freedom and the reunifications of our country,” he added.
Their last meeting took place on January 16th during which they concluded discussions on governance and power sharing which UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer described as “very positive”, adding that “good progress was made.”