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Leaders very guarded on Territory chapter

11 November 2016

There appears to be little likelihood of an agreement on territory on the last day of the five-day summit being held at Mont Pèlerin, Switzerland between the two Cypriot community leaders, Ezra Aygin writes in ‘Cyprus Weekly’.

Talks between President Mustafa Akinci and President Nicos Anastasiades began on Monday, with the aim of completing chapters on governance and power sharing, property, economy and EU affairs chapters. Some progress was achieved, however, the main focus was territory.

The aim was to agree on territory criteria and set a date for a five-party meeting to discuss security and guarantees.

However, there is disagreement on the terms of negotiating territory. The Turkish Cypriot do not want to produce a map at the negotiations, until a date is set for a five-party meeting between the Cypriot leaders and the three guarantors – Turkey, Greece and the UK.

The Turkish Cypriot side cannot risk making big decisions on territory without seeing that there is a chance to find a middle way in guarantees,” a foreign diplomat said.

The Greek Cypriot side was not ready to engage in a constructive discussion on guarantees and the Turkish Cypriot side was not ready to discuss maps.”

On Friday, the last day of the summit, the leaders will continue to try and find some way of negotiating territory, however, the prospect of success looks bleak. Nevertheless, these efforts can continue, on the leaders’ return to Cyprus.

It is likely that the Greek Cypriot side does not want to be pressured into making concessions if guarantees and territory are discussed interdependently rather than successively.

Now it is difficult to see how progress will be made, since neither side appears willing to show its hand.

Cyprus Mail

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