Greek Cypriot president urges 'new impetus' in fresh talks

Greek Cypriot president urges 'new impetus' in fresh talks

ATHENS - Agence France-Presse
Greek Cypriot president urges new impetus in fresh talks

Greece's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, (L) speaks with Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades as they enter Maximos Mansion for their meeting in Athens Oct. 11. AP photo

The president of Greek Cyprus called on Oct. 11 for "new impetus" in a fresh round of talks with Turkish Cyprus.

"We have to be well prepared for a new round of talks ... We are in total agreement [with Athens] that a new impetus is needed in the [upcoming] negotiations," Nicos Anastasiades told reporters after meeting Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Athens.

Samaras called for a "bizonal, federal state ... which will be in accordance with our relationship with the EU."

U.N.-brokered negotiations were suspended in mid-2012, as Turkish Cypriots walked off protesting against the south taking the European Union's rotating presidency.

But now the two sides are close to getting back to the negotiating table.

Anastasiades reiterated Nicosia's long-standing demand that Greek Cypriots should be allowed to return to the ghost-town of Varosha.

"The return of the fenced-off area of Famagusta will restore the Greek Cypriots' trust in Turkey ... and will bring the two communities together in the reconstruction of what has been a ghost-town for 39 years," he said.

Varosha, a suburb of the Famagusta port area, was evacuated during the Turkish invasion.

Turkish Cypriots also said it was willing to resume talks.

"We want to reach an agreement on a peace plan by March 2014," the Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Ozdil Nami told reporters in Ankara on Oct 10, while Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu called Greece and Greek Cyprus for showing more commitment to the process.

There is a new window of opportunity for peace,” Davutoğlu said.

At the end of September, the United States also expressed their hope for a new round of peace talks, as Anastasiades visited Washington.