Anastasiades: “We are in a course that creates hope”

Anastasiades: “We are in a course that creates hope”

Press conference of the President of the Republic on the Conference on Cyprus, in Geneva

The President of the Republic, Nicos Anastasiades, gave today, in Geneva, a press conference on the outcome of the Conference on Cyprus, which was held yesterday in the UN Headquarters in Geneva.

After his opening speech, asked how he estimates the process will move ahead, the President of the Republic said that “what the goal was and remains, is, through dialogue, to achieve the pursued outcomes. I believe the fact that the UN press release clearly records the intention of the participants to reach a mutually acceptable solution on the security and guarantees, which will meet the expectations of both communities, and particularly the fact that it is acknowledged that the security of one community cannot constitute a threat for the other, creates the perspectives and the terms of reference for the team of experts to examine new acceptable ways and for radical differentiation of what was in force based on the guarantees of 1960”.

Asked if the other participants in the Conference were not well-prepared to present specific proposals, President Anastasiades said that “during yesterday’s Conference, each side said how it sees the status of security and guarantees to be formed. A dialogue started with the aim to differentiate what we knew until today. Our proposal refers to comprehensive issues related to internal and external security, as projected by the Turkish side, either of the safeguarding of the smooth and consistent implementation of those to be agreed or even, of course, the safeguarding of the constitutional order after the solution”.

Asked if he foresees a closing date for the issue of Security, the President of the Republic said that “it is the beginning of the dialogue. The committee that was created and will examine the various concerns and questions occurred and perhaps some proposed solutions will lead to a conference of political level probably in the highest possible level, to further discuss the decision. If a conclusion is not reached that date, the dialogue will continue, so that a convergence is achieved”.

In a journalist’s comment that the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey raises an issue of timeframes, the President of the Republic said that “it is not a matter of what the one side asks, but what it is also comprised in the decision of the guarantor powers, the Republic of Cyprus, the Turkish Cypriot community and the EU without exception”.

In a different question, he replied that “there is no disagreement, on the contrary, we are in an absolute and harmonized path with the Greek Government, and we are in constant dialogue with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs”.

In a different question President Anastasiades said that the reason the Conference did not continue today was that Mr Çavuşoğlu had to leave Switzerland due to internal processes in Turkey.

In a question what was EU’s participation in the Conference and what role can it play, President Anastasiades pointed out that the EU is an interested party, given that Cyprus is an EU member and will continue to be a member if a solution is achieved, adding that Cyprus will continue to be a member even though a solution is not achieved. “Therefore, the EU has a role within the parameters that define the security policy” said President Anastasiades. Asked whether the EU can provide security, he said “if there is a corresponding agreement, of course it could”.

Asked whether he hopes that he can still solve the Cyprus problem, following Turkey’s behavior at yesterday’s Conference, President Anastasiades stressed, inter alia, that “if Turkey did not want to cooperate, it would not be participating in the negotiations and it would not accept the establishment of a working group to develop proposals. He added that while dialogue remains alive and while steps are being made that indicate acceptance of discussion, he still hopes.

In a question when a final agreement on the Cyprus problem can be reached, the President of the Republic said, inter alia, that “never before we had a discussion on the Territory issue and it is the first time that the Turkish side exchanged maps, never before Turkey discussed abolition, modification, and withdrawal of occupation troops on the table of the negotiations toward the Republic of Cyprus, the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot side and the EU. Conditions have considerable changed”. Therefore, he added “we are in a course that creates hope. And beyond that will certainly depend on the positions of each side”.

He added that the solution cannot create winners and losers; instead, the happy medium should be found that will allow to a European state to operate as such./IBNA