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Greek Cypriots put four maps on negotiating table

3 September 2016

President Nicos Anastasiades has said that he is fully prepared to discuss territorial adjustments in detail, either during the intensive phase of the Cyprus negotiations, or in a tripartite meeting with the UN Secretary General and President Mustafa Akinci, late September in New York.

The Greek Cypriot side has prepared four maps to illustrate possible territorial adjustments in a Cyprus settlement.

According to “well-informed sources”, Cyprus Weekly reports that in all the maps, the Greek Cypriots get a small fraction more land compared to the 2004 Annan Plan.

All four maps provide for the return of Morphou to the Greek Cypriotsl. In Karpaz, there are various options depending on which villages on the peninsula will be given up to the Greek Cypriots.

Another deviation from the Annan Plan is that the new proposals outline that the Greek Cypriot state gains a much larger percentage of coastline.

The negotiating teams have not yet discussed territory in detail. Early discussions between the two presidents have shown that the Turkish Cypriot side does not want to return Guzelyurt (Morphou).

According to insiders, it is thought that President Akinci and Ankara are using Guzelyurt as a bargaining chip to gain other objectives, such as the rotating presidency of the new federal government.

Agreement on territory will make negotiations on the property issue easier, which currently are said to have run into difficulties. The leaders could not reach an agreement on the topic in Wednesday’s meeting.

Neither side can agree on who has first say on a property, the original owner or the current occupant. The Turkish Cypriots sides insists that the current user has first say if a property has been substantially renovated.

They are also looking for a very clear mandate for the Property Commission with set criteria, to try and avoid potential court cases for property disputes after a settlement.

Both sides need to reach a broad understanding on problematic issues such as property and territory, before they set up a multi-lateral meeting with the guarantor powers and other major players to discuss security and guarantees.

Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots seem to be ready to discuss all three major issues in a five-party meeting with the other guarantors, UK and Greece, as well as the two Cypriot communities.

However, the Greek Cypriots would prefer reach an initial agreement on all other aspects before discussing security and guarantees.

So far, there have been no objections to a tripartite meeting with the UNSG in New York, which is expected to be held after the General Assembly in the week ending on 24th September.

Cyprus Weekly

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