Cyprus Peace Process Roundup

Greek, Turkish communities of Cyprus move slowly to resume peace talks: The estranged Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities are slowly moving towards resuming peace negotiations, which were suspended a month ago amid acrimonious accusations traded between both sides, party officials have said. Averof Neophytou, leader of the ruling DISY party, told state television that he met Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci on Thursday to discuss the prospects of resuming negotiations aimed at a settlement of the decades- old Cyprus problem. Akinci quit the negotiations on Feb. 16, claiming that a vote by the all-Greek Cypriot parliament to commemorate in school classes a 1950 referendum in favor of uniting Cyprus with Greece denoted a move-away from the stated aim of the negotiations. [Famagusta Gazette]

UN Eide to meet EU Juncker over Cyprus issue next Thursday: “EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker will receive UN Secretary General Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide next Thursday, according to his official calendar.Commission Spokesman Alexander Winterstein, invited to comment by CNA on a possible meeting, said that “we should know how close the reunification is to the president’s heart, how closely he was involved, for a long time and how open his communication channels are to all parties and players in this process, so this visit is part of this process of the president being involved, but I cannot tell you today exactly what will be discussed.” [CNA]

Akinci says Maronites can return to Ayia Marina: “The Maronites of occupied Ayia Marina will soon be free to return to their village, which is currently a military base, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said during a visit at the village on Thursday, it emerged on Saturday. According to local daily Politis, Turkish Cypriot former village residents, who joined Akinci on the visit, were told that the Turkish army is preparing to withdraw from the village. Reconstruction of the derelict village could start as early as three months from now.” [Cyprus Mail]

‘No fundamental freedoms for Turkish nationals as part of special arrangement’: “Granting the four fundamental freedoms of the EU to Turkish nationals as part of a special arrangement that will only apply to the reunited Cyprus is out of the question, Government Spokesman, Nikos Christodoulides said on Thursday. The Turkish demand for the four freedoms to be given to Turkish nationals is legally unfounded and the argument that Turkish nationals already enjoy the four freedoms is not valid, the spokesman said in a written statement on Thursday.” [Cyprus Mail]

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