President Nicos Anastasiades is to brief party leaders about his meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci last Friday, and UN envoy Jane Holl Lute on Wednesday.
Before the meeting, Anastasiades will inform the public on Tuesday about the idea for a decentralised federation as a basis for reuniting the island.
South Cyprus government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said Anastasiades and Akinci could meet again on 12 November [when Derinya and Aplic border crossings open] if the two sides can make an agreement about interconnecting mobile telephony across the island. To date, there has been nothing concrete achieved on the subject, the spokesman said.
Unnamed government sources later told the Cyprus News Agency that the matter regarding mobile telephony had come up during a meeting attended by Greek Cypriot chief negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis. However, no agreement was reached on this confidence-building measure.
Currently, neither side’s SIM cards work in the other’s country. Meanwhile calls made in the north are routed through Turkey.
Two solutions were proposed: using one SIM card with two mobile phone numbers, or using a GSM mobile phone node based in Luxembourg.
The aim was for mobile phones to work on both sides without having to pay international and roaming charges.
The Turkish Cypriot side rejected both suggestions, the first solution without explanation. The second solution was rejected because the system recognised only Turkish mobile companies, but not Turkish Cypriot companies.
Since 2015, there has been no significant progress on linking mobile telephony in the south and north of the island. A move which had been agreed on as a confidence building measure at that time, by the two community leaders.