Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said on Monday that the proposal he submitted on May 17, in the framework of his UN-led negotiations with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, aims not only to achieve progress but also to reach a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, and called on Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side to re-examine it in a calm way, if they really want a solution to the Cyprus problem.
Anastasiades reiterated, in a televised statement, his determination to proceed through a substantive dialogue and away from any expediencies to a settlement that will definitively terminate the unacceptable current situation. A solution, he added, “that will create a modern European state, securing the rights of all of the citizens and will allow, through conditions of security, the peaceful co-existence and co-creation between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.”
Anastasiades said that his aim is not to enter into a blame game or to comment all those attributed to him either by the Turkish or the Turkish Cypriot side, “or unfortunately by Greek Cypriot politicians.” He noted that his aim is to restore the truth about his proposal, the adoption of which, as he noted, will create well founded prospects in order to be able to be optimistic for a favourable outcome the soonest possible.
The President said that despite the progress achieved at the five chapters on the internal aspects of the Cyprus problem “governance, economy, property issue, EU, and even the territory issue with the submission and exchange of maps for the first time on the basis of an agreed framework,” disagreements remain and backtracks have been recorded from the things which have been agreed.
Anastasiades said that a significant chapter which constitutes the main source of the existing unacceptable situation concerns the continuation of the presence of the occupation troops and the Treaty of Guarantee.
Referring to the decisions taken at the Conference on Cyprus that took place in Geneva in January 2017 and the fact that on February 1st, 2017, the two leaders asked the United Nations to prepare, in consultation with the guarantor powers, the continuation of the Conference at the political level, Anastasiades said that at the same time he proposed the drafting of a three-pillar document with the convergences and common understandings achieved so far, the pending issues in which there was small distance between the two sides` positions and the issues in which there were substantial disagreements between the two sides.
At the same time, he added, I suggested to the Turkish Cypriot leader that we give a joint press conference and, with full respect to the principle that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, to inform the people of Cyprus about the progress achieved so far.
Anastasiades said that the Turkish Cypriot side`s reaction was negative to both demands.
Referring to the meetings he had with Akinci in April and May, Anastasiades said that during their last meeting on May 17, the Turkish Cypriot leader noted that there is lack of progress and submitted a proposal for a new Conference in Geneva during which the two sides would present their objectives in order to achieve progress through a give and take process.
At the same time, Anastasiades said, Akinci demanded that the Republic of Cyprus plans regarding its energy resources were suspended.
The President said that, having a sense of these crucial times and aiming solely to prevent an emerging deadlock, he rejected Akinci`s demand to suspend the Republic`s energy plans and at the same time, he proposed, in full consistence with the things agreed on January 12 in Geneva and on February 1 in Cyprus, that they immediately go to Geneva.
In order to have tangible results I proposed the convening of the Conference on Cyprus to complete and conclude the discussion on the Chapter of Security and Guarantees, to proceed with the discussion and settlement of the property issue if and when there is a conclusion, and after that to remain in Geneva for as long as it is necessary, with a view to achieve not only substantial progress but even a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, he added.
Anastasiades noted that his proposal is fully consistent with the things that were agreed with the Turkish Cypriot leader and have been written down in the UN press releases of December 1, 2016, January 12, 2017 and February 1, 2017.
Anastasiades once again called on Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leader, if they really want, as they claim, the settlement of the Cyprus problem, to calmly re-examine the proposal he submitted, which as he noted “can give an answer to the problems which we face at the dialogue.”
He also called on the political parties to bear in mind that the challenges, threats and problems “that we are called to face are beyond and above expediencies dictated by personal or other objectives.”
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Anastasiades and Akinci have been engaged in UN-led talks since May 2015 with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof./IBNA
Source: Cyprus News Agency