Exclusive Interview: Cyprus Government Spokesman: The key to the solution lies with Ankara

Exclusive Interview: Cyprus Government Spokesman: The key to the solution lies with Ankara

With just a few hours to go before the start of the Cyprus talks in Geneva, the Cyprus Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides spoke to the Independent Balkan News Agency (IBNA).

According to the Government Spokesman the key to a Cyprus solution lies in Ankara and they expect the Turkish side to put into practice its desire for a Cyprus settlement.

During the interview Nicos Christodoulides, states that the multilateral conference on 12 January is of particular importance, since for the first time Cyprus will the Cyprus Issue directly with Turkey. As far as fears expressed by some on the Greek Cypriot side concerning a possible recognition of the T / C community as a state, the Government Spokesman stresses that there should be no concern about the end result, as the solution cannot escape the framework of EU principles and values.

Read the full interview below

Mr. Spokesman, does the decision for a multilateral meeting in Geneva indicate that we are closer than ever in finding a solution to the Cyprus problem?

The decision on the multilateral meeting in Geneva is the product of understanding between the two Leaders as of December 1 and of the need that Turkey will finally make its stance on the issue of security and guarantees known, before all stakeholders. Turkey’s stance, will in essence prove in practice whether the same applies to all that it publicly proclaims a far as its desire for a solution to the Cyprus problem is concerned, it will almost exclusively judge whether we are close or not in solving the Cyprus problem.

 In Cyprus there are many who believe that any “solution”, will result in substantially the International Recognition of the T / C community as a state, operating indirectly in favour of Turkey’s aspirations. Is this fear true?

We are definitely not working for any sort of solution! The context of the intended solution has long been established. It has been reaffirmed in the Joint Declaration of February 11, 2014 and an important EU dimension has been incorporated, since the Republic of Cyprus is an EU Member State and will continue to be so after a possible solution to the Cyprus problem. Therefore, as you can see, the solution cannot escape the framework of EU principles and values. That being said, there should not any concerns about the final result.

There is ambiguity concerning the participants of the January 12 conference in Geneva. Will it be a five – party meeting or a multilateral meeting and will President Anastasiades attend as President of the Republic or as leader of the Greek Cypriot community?

If we take into consideration the subject at hand the Conference can only be multilateral, with the participation of, among others, the Republic of Cyprus which is one of the two parties of the Guarantees Treaty. The Republic of Cyprus will be represented by President Anastasiades.

At the same time, taking into consideration what I have previously mentioned in relation to the status of Cyprus as an EU Member State and the EU’s obligations towards the Member States resulting from the relevant conditions, the EU cannot be absent from the Conference. Within this context we welcome the President of the Commission Mr. Juncker who will represent the EU in Geneva.

 The Greek Government considers a meeting between the Greek Prime Minister and the Turkish President essential, before the meeting of 12 January in Geneva. Is Turkey part of the solution or the only “real interlocutor” of Cyprus on Cyprus?

What we certainly can say is that without the essential contribution of Turkey there cannot be a solution to the Cyprus issue. The key to the solution lies in Ankara and it is for this reason that the Conference for Cyprus to be launched in Geneva on January 12 is particularly important since we will actually talk directly with Turkey for the first time./IBNA