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Cyprus Peace Process Roundup

Friday, December 16, 2016  | 

Pending issues are closing, however, differences of opinion remain, says President Anastasiades: “President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades said on Tuesday that his meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci was constructive and pending issues are closing, however differences of opinion remain. Speaking to reporters after returning to the Presidential Palace from his meeting with Akinci, Anastasiades said “it took place in a constructive climate, the negotiators briefed them on the chapters they have covered so far and the progress achieved but also on the issues that remain open”. He said they agreed that by the 9th January, when the two leaders will meet in Geneva, they will hold three to four meetings while the negotiators will hold intensive negotiations, meeting up to three times a week.” [Famagusta Gazette]

Dozens March for Peace Deal: “Some 250 Greek and Turkish Cypriots marched on Wednesday in support of an accord reunifying their ethnically divided island ahead of a summit that will likely decide whether a deal on Cyprus is possible. Crossing the United Nations buffer zone dividing the capital Nicosia, demonstrators handed Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci a declaration urging him and Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades to seize the moment and reach agreement “without hesitation.” [AP]

This is the only world capital with two time zones: “Last month, like the rest of Europe, Republic of Cyprus officials who are aligned with Greece and govern the south side of the island moved their clocks back an hour with the end of daylight savings time. But leaders in northern Cyprus opted against the switch and followed the example of Turkey, which scrapped the change on the grounds that it causes needless confusion. As a result, Nicosia now holds two distinctions. It is the last divided capital in Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall — a United Nations buffer zone separates the Greek southern part of Cyprus from the Turkish-Cypriots in the north — and it is also the only world capital that follows two time zones.” [USA Today]

No solution to Cyprus without a solution to the issue of missing persons, say relatives: “The session of the 100 member Advisory Board of the Pancyprian Organization of Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners and Missing Persons, adopted Wednesday a resolution, calling on President Anastasiades Nicos Anastasiades to renew and intensify the efforts to every direction for solving the problem of missing persons without further delay. The resolution also urges the President to make it clear in the ongoing negotiations on Cyprus problem, that solving the issue of missing persons, is a prerequisite for the establishment of an environment of trust between the two communities and the success of efforts to solve the Cyprus problem.” [Famagusta Gazette]

French president offers support to key Cyprus peace talks: “France is willing to help rally international support for a summit next month aimed at clinching an agreement to reunify ethnically divided Cyprus, the country’s president said Friday. President Francois Hollande said his country could play a “useful role” in getting the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council engaged in the Jan. 9-12 summit in Geneva, Switzerland.” [AP]

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