Germany fully supports negotiating process for a Cyprus solution, FM Gabriel says

Germany fully and wholeheartedly supports the negotiating process on the Cyprus problem, for the reunification of the island which would be a huge success for everyone involved and for Europe as a whole, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Thursday after a meeting he had in Berlin with the UNSGs Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide.

Eide wrote on his twitter account: “In Berlin, visiting Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel at a crucial moment for the Cyprus talks. Germanys strong support is highly appreciated”.

In his statement issued after his talks with Eide, Gabriel noted that “since 2015, the two sides (in Cyprus) have been working tirelessly with the backing of the United Nations to reunite Cyprus.”

He said that the fact that the negotiations have advanced further than ever before is due in no small part to the commitment shown by Espen Barth Eide and his persistent efforts. ” I very much welcome the decision by President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to resume their talks.”

“Many major stumbling stones have already been removed during the negotiations. The task now is to persevere and to continue working with courage and a willingness to compromise on the final stretch towards an agreement acceptable to all sides. I sincerely wish Espen Barth Eide, President Anastasiades and Turkish-Cypriot leader Akinci every success,” the German FM concluded.

CNA has learned that Eide will have more meetings on Friday with German Foreign Ministry officials and will return to Cyprus on Monday.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. The UN announced on Tuesday that talks between Anastasiades and Akinci, underway since May 2015, will resume on April 11.

They were suspended in mid February when the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci walked out of a meeting, claiming that a House decision to commemorate, briefly, in school a 1950 referendum advocating union with Greece was in fact a shift in the long standing position of the Greek Cypriot side for a bicommunal, bizonal federal solution in Cyprus.

President Anastasiades had described the decision “wrong”, saying the timing was not right. Akinci said he would not return to the negotiations unless the decision is revoked. The House is set to vote on an amendment on the bill, which essentially annuls the earlier House decision, on Friday 7 April.

Source: Cyprus News Agency