Kasoulides: “The negotiations have not collapsed”
The developments on the Cyprus problem were, inter alia, on the focus of today’s meeting of the Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), during which the Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Ioannis Kasoulides, presented the priorities of the Cypriot Chairmanship.
Following the presentation, Minister Kasoulides replied to questions of the participants, which focused on the recent developments in the negotiations process for achieving a settlement on the Cyprus problem. Referring to the progress achieved, which led to the meetings of the two leaders in Mont Pèlerin, the Minister of Foreign Affairs noted that no date was given for the last and final phase that would be a multilateral conference between the two communities and at least the three guarantors as stakeholders. He added that if there are internal chapters remaining, it would be a bad practice to move to a multilateral conference, because this negates the position that all internal chapters are Cypriot-led and Cypriot-owned.
Minister Kasoulides highlighted that the developments in Switzerland are a pump in the road that has been so successful so far, stressing that “the negotiations have not collapsed”. He further expressed the conviction that Cyprus will become an independent and sovereign state, with no guarantees or presence of military forces.
Invited to say when the negotiations are expected to resume, Mr Kasoulides noted that this will happen in the upcoming weeks, as soon as some procedural issues are settled. He added that the Cypriots must agree among themselves about all the internal subjects, before proceeding to a multilateral conference regarding the issue of Security. He also stressed that, as regards the Security, both sides have to feel equally secure.
In a question on which the role of the guarantor powers should be, Foreign Minister Kasoulides said that Turkey is the only of the three that insists in maintaining the guarantees system, at the same time when Greece made it clear that it is not interested in participating to a guarantees system. The United Kingdom’s position, he added, is that they will only respond to the requests of the both sides and then they will consider ending their participation in a treaty of guarantees for the future.
On his part, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly, Mr Pedro Agramunt, underlined that PACE fully supports the effort of the two leaders to reach an agreement, which will safeguard the rights of the entire Cyprus people./IBNA