Opening statement by the President of Cyprus at the press conference on the Cyprus problem

Opening statement by the President of Cyprus at the press conference on the Cyprus problem

“I sincerely feel sad about the conclusion of today’s meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Akinci.

And I feel sad because, while the entire discussion was taking place –I must confess- in a friendly and constructive spirit and climate, at one moment that there was a brief break as a result of a disagreement, which arose between the United Nations and our side, the Turkish Cypriot delegation withdrew from the meeting without reason and with no cause. In spite of the efforts of the UN Special Adviser to bring back the Turkish Cypriot side to the meeting, the Turkish Cypriot leader was unyielding.

More specifically, during the meeting that proceeded, Mr Akinci repeated all that he publicly stated in relation to the concerns of the Turkish Cypriot community, because of the decision of the House of Representatives.

In response, I stated extensively and I explained the reasons, which do not justify the expressed concerns of the Turkish Cypriot community.

I mentioned, among other things, the unanimous decision of the National Council, emphasizing strongly that the Turkish Cypriot side is not justified to question the decisions or the intentions of the Greek Cypriot side, since in the unanimous decision it is made very clear that the pursued solution is neither union nor partition of course.

To the contrary, there is a repetition of the concentration to a solution that will be fully compatible with the resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the decisions of the UN Security Council, and the unanimous decisions of the National Council taken at various times.

Furthermore, as I had said in my statement the day before yesterday, “I will not allow anyone to question the sincere intentions of the Greek Cypriot side for the effort to find a solution acceptable to both communities, as they are very clearly recorded at the negotiating table”.

In addition, I made an extensive reference to events, which ignore the sensitivities of the Greek Cypriot community by the Turkish Cypriot side; and yet, in spite of these, I did not ask for the interruption of the dialogue, and I did not demand for the Turkish Cypriot leader to assume the responsibility and to correct behavior by political forces of his community.

I strongly emphasized the importance of the progress that has been achieved and that what is of significance is our concentration on the continuation of the dialogue, in order to address the remaining differences. I also underlined that our side came to today’s meeting fully ready and prepared for a substantive negotiation, as per the agreed agenda.

Following the above, I pointed out that no pretext should be sought in order for Turkey to avoid assuming the responsibilities it has; and neither should Turkey be allowed to present demands and preconditions that do not concern the interests of the people of Cyprus.

Such approaches, I underlined, undermine the process and do not express a sincere approach that is compatible with all that is publicly proclaimed. What we expect from Turkey is to contribute substantially to the solution of fundamental dimensions of the Cyprus problem, which relate to the concerns of the Greek Cypriot community.

Given the opportunity, I would like to express, for one more time, my disagreement with misguided or unnecessary decisions or statements that allow the pretentious exploitation by Turkey or the Turkish Cypriot community, in order to avoid the assumption of the responsibilities that weigh against them.

At the same time, I want to stress emphatically that our side and myself personally, remain completely focused on finding a viable and functional solution, and on the continuation of the dialogue as it was agreed before the UN Secretary General in Geneva on 12 January 2017; and consequently, I call on the Turkish Cypriot leader to abandon the pretexts and to come immediately with a constructive disposition for a continuation of the dialogue, in order to succeed in the efforts for the achievement of a comprehensive solution, which would correspond to the expectations of both communities”./IBNA