Anti-occupation commemoration in Nicosia
By Michalis Michael
The Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades was given the opportunity to express his position on all the developments of the Cyprus issue and the proposal of Akinci regarding the natural gas, and he did not let it pass. During a commemoration ceremony for Kyrenia and in front of a crowd of locals, he said that “taking into account our repeated declarations of readiness and determination for our direct involvement in a new round of negotiations, what is clearly expected is for Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side to show similar intentions, so that the process can be restarted shortly, in order to achieve a comprehensive solution”.
As he also stated, it must be made clear to all the parties involved that “the solution we seek must above all, in accordance to international law and the UN resolutions, create the conditions of security and prosperity that will allow the peaceful coexistence of all legitimate citizens in a modern, independent and sovereign state, just as the status of Cyprus as a member of the European Union presupposes. In this direction, as we rightly and quite reasonably demand, it is necessary to transform the Republic of Cyprus into a bi-zonal bi-communal federation: firstly, in order to guarantee independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and secondly, to lead to a new regime completely free from anachronistic guarantees, invasive rights and the presence of foreign troops. This is indeed the position that the United Nations Secretary-General has also expressed and adopted,” he said.
He also referred to Mr Guterres’s reports of the need to terminate the guarantees and invasive rights and for a sharp decrease, from the first day, of the occupying troops and for provisions that could lead to the definitive termination of their presence. “In this context, it can be clearly understood that: On the one hand, it would be and it is inconceivable for us to accept and propose to the people any solution that will not primarily and above all respect their dignity and absolute freedom. On the other hand, any solution that affects the independence and sovereignty of a UN and EU member state, and which is contradictory to the UN Charter and international law, would be anything but viable and functional”, he notes.
I want to believe, he continued, that both our Turkish Cypriot compatriots and Turkey will show good will, particularly on the issues of Security, Guarantees and the troops, so that we can soon start a new round of negotiations.
The proposal for natural gas and the proposal for a five-day meeting
The Cypriot President continued by saying that a necessary prerequisite for such a new effort is that the dialogue be conducted in a spirit of mutual respect and compromise, so that the proposals submitted will be such that they will fully take into account the reasonable concerns and sensitivities of both sides, especially the Greek Cypriot.
“It is for these very reasons that last week, unanimously, the Council of Heads rejected a proposal of the Turkish Cypriot leader, regarding the co-management of natural resources, and I therefore sent a letter today to the UN Secretary-General, the President of the European Commission, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security of the EU, and which I also shared with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci,” said President Anastasiades.
More specifically, he explained that the proposal (of the Turkish Cypriot leader) contained such provisions, which were not based on the respect and service of the best interest of the Republic of Cyprus and the Cypriot people as a whole, and therefore could not be accepted. “In contrast to this proposal, it is with satisfaction that we welcomed the Turkish Cypriot leader’s suggestion last Thursday to convene an informal meeting in the Crans Montana model, just as our own side had suggested on the basis of a framework of proposals we submitted in writing to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, with a letter dated on June 14,” he continued.
President Anastasiades noted that he has repeatedly stated that he is ready to meet with Mr Akinci, either one-on-one or in the presence of Mrs. Lute, in order to discuss the details and the time for the conveyance of an informal, procedural, meeting in the Crans Montana model, “in the hope that such an informal meeting, properly prepared, will lead to the resumption of substantive talks. I state that at last this meeting with Mr Akinci was organized today for Friday, August 9, and I hope it will be productive and will lead to the resumption the negotiations.”
In this regard, he added, the Turkish Cypriot side must finally realize that provocative actions that violate the sovereign rights within the Exclusive Economic Zone and territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus, which are repeatedly occurring lately, in no case are compatible with the resumption of talks and the process of resolving the Cyprus issue, which our side is seeking in practice. “It must therefore be understood that as long as Turkey persists, in violation of International Law and the recommendations of the European Union and the international community, in such a provocative attitude, it is not possible to recommence any such process”.
Therefore, the President said, what is necessary is for Turkey, far from any intransigence and provocation, and in respect to the sensitivities of the Greek Cypriots and the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, to show in practice the volition it claims to have for the solution of the Cyprus problem, so that, in the framework of a possible new meeting, we can make substantial progress./ibna