Cyprus FM hopes momentum will return to the peace talks after Turkish referendum

Cyprus’ Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides expressed on Monday hope that the momentum will return to the Cyprus settlement talks, now that the Turkish referendum has been concluded.

Replying to questions by parliamentarians after addressing the Spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg, Kasoulides said that the Turkish referendum is over and therefore there is no further excuse for not advancing forward towards the resolution of the remaining parts of each and every chapter in the negotiations.

He added that he didn’t want to hide from the Assembly the fact that negotiations are not progressing in the same way as before.

Replying to a question by a parliamentarian from Ireland, the Foreign Minister noted that partition is never a solution particularly in the case of Cyprus. Every effort has to be made in order for the two parties and the other stakeholders, particularly Turkey, to make their utmost in order to find a solution for the reunification of the island.

He also thanked PACE for its role over the years regarding the problem in Cyprus and certain aspects, such as dealing with displaces persons, missing persons and cultural heritage issues.

With respect to Brexit, Kasoulides said that countries like Cyprus and Ireland will be most affected but will try to make their best through negotiations that will follow between the EU and the UK.

Asked about the refusal by some countries to implement the decisions of European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), Kasoulides spoke of a worrying trend in a number of member states that question the binding nature of Court judgements.

He recalled that all member states of the CoE have agreed to be bound by the European Convention on Human Rights and comply with the Court judgements.

Abiding by the Convention is a fundamental commitment linked to membership in the organisation said Kasoulides.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-backed talks aim to reunite the island under a federal roof.

Source: Cyprus News Agency