Efforts to resume Cyprus talks to take place after presidential elections, says President Anastasiades

President Nicos Anastasiades told the press on Wednesday that efforts to resume the UN peace talks for a solution to the Cyprus problem will take place after the presidential elections, scheduled for early 2018.

He said that if some believe that the parameters for a Cyprus solution should change or that the solution should provide for guarantees on the island or for rights of intervention by Turkey, this will not be a solution but rather a status of absolute control, direct or indirect, by Ankara.

Such control, he pointed out, would turn Cyprus into a protectorate, and added: “this is something that goes beyond the framework within which I have been negotiating so far, or will do so in the future, if re-elected.”

The President, who visited army camps on the occasion of Christmas and New Year, was invited by journalists to comment on statements made by Turkish Foreign Minister on a change of the parameters of a Cyprus solution. He pointed out that this statement proves the truth of what the government has been saying about the collapse of the latest round of peace talks and that the deadlock was due to Turkeys intransigence. Ankara, he explained, did not exactly accept the parameters set by the UN Secretary-General, particularly with regard to guarantees, rights of intervention and the presence of the Turkish army on the island.

He said that third parties were trying to set a picture that Turkey was ready to accept the UNSGs parameters even after what was revealed about what happened on the evening of July 6, 2017 in Crans Montana, Switzerland, where the most recent round of talks took place.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The leaders of the two communities, President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have been engaged in UN-backed talks since May 2015 with the aim to reunite the island under a federal roof.

The latest round of negotiations, in July this year, ended inconclusively due to unacceptable demands by both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots to maintain Turkish military presence on the island and retain the right of intervention and the right of guarantee which Ankara secured through the 1960 treaties that established the Republic of Cyprus.

Source: Cyprus News Agency