EU involvement in Cyprus talks imperative, President says

The EU’s involvement in the Cyprus talks is imperative both with regard to breaking the deadlock as well as in reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem, Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides said on Saturday, adding he will raise the issue in coordination with the Greek government during his visit in Brussels for the upcoming EU Sumit. Furthermore, in statements at the sidelines of the memorial service for the former President of the Republic Spyros Kyprianou, Christodoulides was invited to comment on Turkish Cypriot leader’s Ersin Tatar’s comments over the EU’s involvement, stressing that he will not engage in blame-game. ‘I did not expect something different by Mr Tatar,’ he said, adding that the Turkish Cypriot leader is aware of the EU’s importance for the Turkish Cypriot community as well and recalled that the EU has in place a financial assistance package for the T/c community with the agreement of the Cypriot government. He furthermore stressed that he is not interested in communication management for the Cyprus problem. ‘What I am interested in is the substance and we will to our utmost to break the deadlock and resume negotiations,’ he stressed. Addressing the memorial service, Christodoulides said that he aims at the resumption of ‘substantive dialogue through which we will deliver to future generations a country with no occupation troops, no foreign guarantees, reunited, modern and European.’ ‘In this context we believe the EU involvement is imperative both with regard to breaking the deadlock as well as the solution of the Cyprus problem,’ he said, recalling he is working to this end since his first day in office. And I intent to discuss (the matter) during my presence in Brussels in the coming days, always in coordination with the Greek government, he added Furthermore, the President stressed that ending occupation and reunifying Cyprus cannot be anything but a common purpose, adding that the Cyprus problem cannot be exploited for political considerations. ‘Unity was and continues to be a necessary precondition, a historic necessity and a weapon on our quest for justice,’ the President stressed. ‘Only in this way’ he continued, ‘we will be able to strengthen our negotiating position concerning the Cyprus problem, on the basis of a realistic assertive strategy, demanding what we are entitled and what we deserve, with a sole aim to end the unacceptable status quo which obliges us to live in conditions that do not exist anywhere else in Europe.’ According to the President, ‘the current unacceptable state of affairs does not allow any citizen of this country to enjoy his rights, freedoms and welfare that all European citizens consider as vested and unquestionable.’ ‘On the contrary the unacceptable status quo, among others, constitutes a standing source of instability and insecurity and under no circumstances it should lead us to complacency,’ he added. Cyprus, an EU member-state since May 2004, has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. No talks have over a settlement to the Cyprus problem have taken place since the failed negotiating round in the Swiss resort of Crans Montana in July 2017.

Source: Cyprus News Agency