If security concerns are addressed, other pending issues can be resolved through EU acquis, President stresses

If security concerns are addressed, then the EU acquis communautaire can provide answers to all other pending issues of the Cyprus problem, President Nicos Anastasiades stressed here tonight, reiterating at the same time his determination to resume the peace talks leading to a political settlement that would reunite the country.

In his opening address at the 9th World Conference of Young Overseas Cypriots (NEPOMAK) and the Meeting of the Central Councils of the World Federation of Overseas Cypriots (POMAK) and the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), he said that on Monday he conveyed to the UNSGs envoy Jane Holl Lute his determination and genuine will to engage again in a dialogue on the basis of the SGs parameters, international law, and the European acquis.

If we overcome security concerns, then the European acquis communautaire can provide answers to any other outstanding issues and differences that may exist between the two communities, he said, adding that at his meeting with Lute he expressed the readiness of the Greek Cypriot side to resume the peace talks from the point they were interrupted provided that all six points of the Guterres Framework are accepted.

The first is the abolition of guarantees, the second is the withdrawal of the Turkish occupation troops he said, adding that what we are striving for is independence, sovereignty and self-determination of Cypriots for the Cypriots.

He pointed out that despite the efforts and good will of the Greek Cypriot side, Ankara insists on proposals that lead to retaining control over Cyprus.

Turkey, he said, insists on the same unacceptable and provocative attitude, claiming that the usurpation of properties, the violation of human rights, the illegal settlers and the demand for a permanent presence of Turkish troops serve to protect the Turkish Cypriots.

This, he added, is a pretext, which is against international law and against the principle agreed during the talks, that the security of one community cannot constitute a threat to the other community.

The President stressed that the Greek Cypriot side fully respects the concerns of the Turkish Cypriots and has tabled proposals in this respect. At the same time, the Greek Cypriots demand that their concerns are also respected, he noted.

“Only through mutual respect can we achieve a solution,” he underlined, saying that the solution can be achieved through the respect of the sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Cyprus and the recognition that only Cypriots, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, have the right to decide for themselves, and not any third country.

He stressed that Cyprus, being a UN and EU member state, cannot be considered an independent state if the existing system of guarantees continues and if occupation troops remain on the island.

In his speech, the President referred to the excellent relations Nicosia maintains with neighbouring countries, such as Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, noting that the only neighbouring country which constitutes an exception is unfortunately Turkey.

The President said that Cyprus supports Turkeys European course, as Nicosia prefers a European neighbour, adding that the Turkish leadership must respect international law, the European acquis and the human rights of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

As regards the governments energy plans, the President told delegates that despite Ankara’s threats against Cyprus sovereign rights, Nicosia is proceeding with the implementation of Cyprus energy policy on the basis of concrete strategic planning.

The President also referred to the economic situation in Cyprus, saying that after the crisis in 2013 the economy on the island has improved, reiterating the governments firm determination to continue the disciplined fiscal policy that will allow for stable and sustainable growth, as forecast by the international rating agencies.

Referring to the diaspora, he said that they constitute worthy ambassadors of Cyprus in their countries of residence and said he is proud of their work, activities and creativity, giving emphasis on the youth of the diaspora.

I want to express once again my satisfaction with the work you are doing. I would like to welcome you once again, to wish you all best and to assure you that we will be at your side he told the delegates.

Furthermore, he said that he is aware of the diaspora needs in the fields of education, culture and other areas, adding that the government is doing its utmost to address them, based on its financial capacities.

Before beginning his speech, the President expressed again his deepest sorrow, condolences and the unwavering support of the people of Cyprus to the people of Greece in the aftermath of the deadly fires that have devastated the country.

The Republic of Cyprus remains divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island. Numerous UN-backed talks, aiming at reunifying the island under a federal roof, have failed to yield any results. The latest round of peace talks took place last July at the Swiss resort of Crans Montana but ended inconclusively.

Source: Cyprus News Agency