Greek FM says any new effort for Cyprus solution must be well prepared

Any new initiative for a Cyprus solution must be well prepared, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, Nikos Kotzias has stressed, noting that UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor for Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, was unprepared at the Conference for Cyprus in the Swiss resort of Crans Montana, which lasted ten days and yielded no results.

In statements on Tuesday after a meeting he held in Nicosia with Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and their respective delegations, Kotzias said that any new initiative must be well prepared and effective.

Invited to say whether he believes there will be any new initiative for the Cyprus issue in the near future, Kotzias said that we have to work so that there is a new opportunity in the negotiations for a Cyprus solution, but stressed that ‘this new opportunity must be well prepared and effective’.

He also said that Eide, among other things, was unprepared and had not allowed the necessary preparation for the conference in Switzerland.

In his statements, the Cypriot Foreign Minister said that in the Crans Montana Conference, both President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades and Minister Kotzias gave for the first time a battle for Cyprus in the issue of guarantees, intervention rights and security.

He said that both countries struggled hand in hand but no solution was reached because the necessary element was missing, meaning that Cyprus has the right to be a normal state, with no guarantees or intervention rights from foreign countries, since these are non sustainable elements.

He recalled that the term normal state was mentioned by the UN Secretary General.

The next battles will concern this issue, he said, and noted that the international community must exert pressure on Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots must decide whether they want a solution of the Cyprus problem or stay under the control of Ankara.

Both Ministers were invited to give a message to the people as regards the energy policy and the Turkish reactions in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone.

Minister Kasoulides said that ‘my message is that provocations, as annoying as they may be, they are manageable, while the Greek Minister pointed out that Turkey is a country that has difficulties adjusting to the international law.

‘The work of the Foreign Ministers is to help Turkey understand its obligations’ Kotzias pointed out.

The Greek Foreign Minister expressed satisfaction with the cooperation between Cyprus and Greece at the Cyprus negotiations, saying that this experience has brought the two countries even closer.

Kotzias, who earlier on was invited by President Anastasiades to participate in the meeting of the National Council, the top advisory body to the President regarding the Cyprus issue, said that at the meeting he talked about the Crans Montana talks noting that Turkey ‘ was playing with words’, but when it was time to make decisions it showed that it had no intention or was not even ready for a solution.

We managed, he said, to place the issue of security and guarantees on the agenda of the Cyprus talks, and noted that there is no doubt that this issue will be the first on the table at any future negotiation.

The two Foreign Ministers and their respective delegations held a discussion in the Foreign Ministry in Nicosia on how to further intensify their relations, on the Cyprus solution and the EU Turkey relations.

Asked whether Turkey can show constructive stance on the Cyprus issue, given the presidential elections in Turkey in 2019, the Kurdish issue and Syria, Kotzias replied that those issues are disincentives for Ankara but there are also incentives such as its relations with the Western World, the EU and the Customs Union, the problems of the Turkish army in Syria, as well as internal issues.

He also referred to the international environment ‘with which we have to work’ so that Turkey is obliged to abide in a creative manner by the international law.

The UN-backed talks that took place between June 28-July 7, in Crans-Montana, Switzerland ended inconclusively. Peace talks aim to reunite Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion, under a federal roof.

Source: Cyprus News Agency