In statements on his return to the Presidential Palace after his meeting with Talat, in the framework of direct negotiations to solve the Cyprus problem, President Christofias said they agreed that their aides would discuss specific issues on which there is convergence of views.
Asked if they had discussed the results of Sunday’s ”elections” in the Turkish occupied areas, President Christofias said it was only natural to do so, adding that no one expected Talat to be pleased with the outcome, which gave a clear lead to the National Unity Party of Dervis Eroglu, leaving Talat’s Republican Turkish Party in second place.
He added that Talat, as the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, wishes to continue the meetings for a Cyprus settlement, noting that today the process continued in the same manner.
Asked if Eroglu, who had expressed the wish to send a representative to the direct talks, had sent a delegate to Tuesday’s meeting, President Christofias said he had not.
Invited to say if the result of the ”elections” would speed up the process of the talks, President Christofias said ”we have agreed on the process and we are proceeding on the basis of this agreement.”
Regarding the discussions on the economy, which began on Tuesday, President Christofias said that in order to assess the situation, the aides of the leaders of the two communities and their teams would first have to meet to discuss the details before the next meeting of May 5.
Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.
President Christofias and Talat have been engaged in direct negotiations since September 2008 with an aim to reunite the island.
Financial Mirror, April 21, 2009