The two community leaders held a three hour meeting in Nicosia on Thursday. This was the first time they had met time since the Geneva-hosted security-focused Conference on Cyprus.
The previous day, Turkish Deputy PM Tugrul Turkes had demanded the EU’s four freedoms be granted to all citizens in the north, including Turkish nationals in a reunited federal Cyprus. If not, Greek nationals in Cyprus should be deprived of the same privileges.
“It seems that everything is up in the air, negative statements by Turkish officials do not help efforts towards a second high-level Conference on Cyprus focusing on security,” an insider told Cyprus Weekly.
“Nonetheless, the leaders will meet again in Nicosia on 1st February to decide on the procedure and methodology of the negotiations from this point onward.”
After the leaders’ meeting, President Anastasiades told journalists that:
“A settlement of the Cyprus problem is unthinkable when Turkish officials demand the same rights for Turkish nationals as EU citizens, after a solution.”
“I cannot but highlight…that as long as Turkish officials utter such unacceptable and unfounded statements, they only succeed in creating a negative climate,” he added.
Despite the fact the Thursday’s meeting brought no tangible results, Anastasiades said that it had been decided that the talks will continue, on all issues.