Anastasiades, Akinci Back to the Unity Talks Drawing Table Once Again

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, (L) talks to Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci as UN envoy Espen Barth Eide looks on. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA – With an end-of-the-year hoped-for deadline nearing, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will get back to unity talks on Oct. 24.

The two have been talking for a year and a half but made little progress on major issues although making some small concessions.

Cyprus has been divided since an unlawful 1974 Turkish invasion and reunification has eluded two dozen international envoys and a raft of diplomats who’ve left the island empty-handed after making virtually no progress.

In statements after their last meeting, a week ago, Anastasiades said there was sufficient some progress without specifying what it was and as critical issues, such as property unlawful seized by Turks and the refusal of Erdogan to remove a Turkish army even -o he said – if it scuttles the talks.

Speaking Oct. 23 and referring to the talks, Anastasiades said that so far, “We have been able to achieve convergences, improve provisions of even the 1960 Constitution, in many areas, so that we can create the prospects of ensuring (the survival of) Hellenism in the future, safeguarding the freedom of movement, freedom of abode, freedom of property, freedom of exercising a profession wherever any Cypriot decides to,” the Cyprus Mail said, repeating a series of platitudes he delivers from time to time.

At the same time, he continued, “We are working so that each constituent state will have its own legislative and executive powers, not by abolishing the central government but by protecting the rights of either or both communities.”