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Conference on Cyprus begins today in Crans-Montana

The UN-hosted Conference on Cyprus in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, opens today with a discussion on the chapter of “Security and Guarantees”.

The first meeting will take place in the presence of the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide, the Foreign Ministers of Greece, Turkey and Britain, Nicos Kotzias, Mevlut Cavusoglu and Boris Johnson respectively and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.

On Wednesday afternoon, a parallel discussion is expected to take place on other topics, beginning with the territorial issue, according to reliable sources.

The basis of discussions, according to the Greek Cypriot side, is the conclusions of talks that took place on January 19th in Mont Pelerin 3. The Greek Cypriot side is at the talks having in mind the fact that a very substantive discussion has taken place recently between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildirim in which security and guarantee issues have been discussed for the first time since 1974, and the fact that Turkey will at long last be obliged to take a stance on the issue of security and guarantees.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called on all interested parties to the Cyprus question to seize the opportunity to find a negotiated settlement.

“I call on all concerned players to seize this opportunity, for Cyprus first and foremost, but also for the wider Eastern Mediterranean region.”

Last night, the UN hosted a dinner  for the participants to the Conference, while bilateral meetings began.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades is accompanied by the Attorney General Costas Clerides, the Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis, Government Spokesman and Director of his Diplomatic Office Nikos Christodoulides, Undersecretary to the President Vasilis Palmas, Deputy Government Spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos and other officials.

He is also accompanied by the members of the negotiating team Erato Kozakou Markoulli, Kypros Chrysostomides, Polis Polyviou, Panagiotis Demetriou, Nikos Kleanthous, Toumazos Tsielepis, Marios Eliades, Constantinos Kombos, Aristotelis Constantinides, Nicolas Kyriakou and other technocrats.

Former President of the Republic George Vasiliou and political party representatives, namely Democratic Rally President Averof Neophytou, left-wing AKEL Secretary General Antros Kyprianou, Democratic Party President Nicolas Papadopoulos, Social Democrats Movement President Marinos Sizopoulos, Citizens` Coalition leader George Lillikas, Solidarity Movement Deputy President Polis Pallikaros and Ecologists Envronmentalists Movement President George Perdikes also escort the President at his invitation.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader have been engaged in UN-led talks since May 2015 with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.

source: CNA

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