UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and South Cyprus Minister of Foreign Affairs Ioannis Kasoulides, have discussed the prospects for a resumption of the negotiations between the leaders of the two communities on the island.
Kasoulides said “there is an understanding that the talks cannot commence earlier than the Autumn.”
He added that he had conveyed some issues to Ban on behalf of President Nicos Anastasiades, namely the need to show understanding due to the financial crisis in Cyprus, the fact that the President was not bound by previous decisions, and that it was necessary to improve trust between the two communities.
Kasoulides pointed out that moves had to be made to restore confidence between the two communities, adding that to this end, came the proposal for Famagusta to be handed over to its legitimate citizens before any other agreement was reached.
Replying to questions, Kasoulides said that in exchange the Turkish Cypriot community could use the port of Famagusta for direct trade under the supervision of the EU.
Regarding confidence building measures in relation to the exploitation of hydrocarbons in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, Kasoulides said issues concerning natural gas were independent of any efforts to solve the Cyprus problem.