It is very important to find ways and means to resume the peace process, Greek Cypriot negotiator stresses

It is of utmost importance to find ways and means to resume the Cyprus peace process and for that to happen continuous commitment by everybody in Cyprus is a must, the negotiator of the Greek Cypriot side Andreas Mavroyiannis said here today, speaking in the panel discussion on Bridge to the Future organized in the framework of RCB’s Summer School for university students from Cyprus and abroad.

For us it is of utmost importance to try and find ways and means to move forward and resume the peace process, because I don’t believe that we have any other alternative to reunite Cyprus other than through negotiations. We need to continue to try and find the proper ways, he stressed.

He also said that to achieve this, we need at least continuous commitment by all in Cyprus to reunification, adding that this commitment is put in question if one side or external players argue that this is the end of the road and alternative scenarios must be examined.

Replying to questions, he said that there are some issues in the negotiations that are entirely in Turkey’s hands like security, guarantees and territory.

Referring to the role of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, he said Erdogan cannot be exclusively responsible for the failure to solve the Cyprus problem since the problem has not been resolved for years. He stressed however that if Erdogan really wants, he can do something for Cyprus which could lead to a settlement.

Saying that Turkey has no real reason to solve the Cyprus problem, Mavroyiannis noted that the idea is to create a reason for Turkey to resolve the question of Cyprus, through EU-Turkey relations, energy or economy.

He also said that this time round Cyprus was closer to a solution than ever before in the sense that we have seen emerging, gradually, a vision for the future which was joint, through establishing a modern European reunited country, in line with the rules of the EU and with full respect of the human rights of everybody in Cyprus but also opening prospects in all fields, in particular the economy and business.

In his intervention Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences Professor Christopher Pissarides said that what Cyprus needs after the negative shock it has suffered during recession, is a positive shock with the settlement of its political problem. Solving the problem, he added, which causes uncertainty will help attract more foreign investment, improve institutions and facilitate business, and will be a very positive development for both communities.

As he said, reunification is the best that can happen at the macroeconomic level for both communities in Cyprus.

RCBs Executive Director and Greek Cypriot Head of the Bicommunal Technical Committee on Crossings Sotos Zackheos referred, inter alia, to the political issues involved in the committees attempt to open more crossings points that did not allow the expected progress and sent the message that the technical committee should stay out of political considerations.

The President of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Phidias Pilides and the President of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Fikri Toros, in their interventions, stressed that they will continue to work on the preparation of the economic infrastructure for the reunification of the island.

The psychological and social relations between the two communities were analyzed by Charis Psaltis, Professor at the University of Cyprus, who said that according to research conducted by the Department of Psychology of the University, the opening of the crossing points in 2003 had a positive effect on relations between the two communities. He noted, however, that education in both communities should play a bigger role and stop being one-sided.

Cyprus has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to reach a negotiated settlement that would reunite the country under a federal roof. The latest such attempt was in early July this year in Crans Montana.

Source: Cyprus News Agency