World Bulletin / News Desk
The United Nations on Monday received proposals from Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides, and the three guarantor countries -- Turkey, Greece and the U.K. -- for a peace deal to unite Cyprus under a federal umbrella.
The guarantor countries submitted their proposals to the UN laying out the security and guarantees issue while the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides submitted their proposals on all issues at the table, according to a diplomatic source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the restrictions on talking to the media, said.
The latest round of Cyprus talks began on June 28 in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.
The UN is expected to share the copies of the proposals with each of the five sides who will then discuss them in the second meeting later Monday.
In response to a question about whether the Turkish Cypriot side is “optimistic” following the first meeting on Monday, Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci said: "As l told yesterday, this week is decision week. Let's see."
After the proposals were submitted to the UN, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his team met Akinci to discuss the latest developments, the source said.
Akinci on Sunday said the Cyprus talks in the Swiss Alps are heading into a critical decision-making week, warning the Greek Cypriot side that reaching a deal will require resolve on both sides.
"The new week which is starting tomorrow will be vital decision-making week for the future of Cyprus and the region. I hope our determination will not be unreciprocated," he said in a statement on Sunday.
"We have continued the talks with the idea that this would be the decision-making conference," he added.
Saying that all sides agreed on Friday to discuss the important issues as a package, Akinci said: "We had a two-table format in Crans-Montana, with table one addressing the security and guarantees questions, including with guarantor countries, while the second table is composed only by the two Cypriot sides."
He added: "Turkish Cypriot side has been arguing for a long time that the method of discussing the issues separately is no longer sufficient and a package system is needed. We were arguing that there should be synchronized parallel tables for all issues in the package to be discussed."
Cavusoglu had urged a final settlement in the ongoing "last" round of Cyprus negotiations meant to reach an agreement for reunification of the island.
Speaking with reporters in Crans-Montana on Friday, Cavusoglu said: "The Turkish delegation and Turkish Cypriots have been acting in a constructive and sincere manner. This is the final conference, last conference, and we need to reach a settlement, so to reach a settlement, we need to agree on all outstanding issues."
The UN is seeking a peace deal to unite Cyprus under a federal umbrella, which could also define the future of Europe's relations with Turkey, a key player in the conflict. The Eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks, and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.
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