President Nicos Anastasiades announced that he will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron on November 11 and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on November 23 in an effort to engage the EU, together with the United Nations, in reaching a solution of the Cyprus problem. “I want to wish that before either my term of office or my time on earth is over, I want to see that there is progress, that there is hope. And we must not lose hope, we must not forget,” he said.
Addressing on Friday an event inaugurating the offices of the Association of Displaced Communities in Famagusta, the President said he would approach the two European leaders so that “in addition to the confidence-building measures that could create a more positive climate and restore confidence, an initiative is finally taken by the EU, in cooperation with the UN, in cooperation with those who can influence Turkey, to finally get back on the path of international law, if it wishes at some point to fulfil its former European orientations.”
The efforts are aimed at mobilising not only the UN but also the European Union, he said, as we are an EU member state. “This is one of the motivations for our fellow Turkish Cypriots who are suffering under occupation to realize that the rules of the EU, the rules of supervision that require that each member state takes into account the human rights of its citizens, gives them the greatest guarantee. And for their human rights and for their well-being,” he said.
This is the effort I will make until my last day in office to ensure that there is movement forward. “Movement on the part of Europe, in cooperation with the UN, in order to finally curb Turkish intransigence, this revisionist policy of Erdogan, who, unfortunately, and we must make everyone aware of this, is not only threatening Cyprus,” he said, noting that he is threatening Greece and intervening in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Armenia.
“We have to understand that unfortunately there is a neighbouring country which does not respect international law, it interprets it as it sees fit. This is what we want to prevent, this is what we want to differentiate, this is what we are facing,” he noted.
Speaking about the efforts to find a just, functional and viable solution that allows Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to coexist without interference from third parties, the President stressed that his priority was the abolition of guarantees, the unilateral right to intervene, the end of the presence of occupying troops, functionality through political equality, “so that we do not have to face a state like our neighbour Lebanon, which through the provisions of the Constitution is constantly in crisis, or create a new Bosnia and Herzegovina where we will face the same dysfunctional problems”.
“Is it not in Cyprus that foreign interference created the problem and what we are facing today?” he asked. “Isn’t it Turkey that intervened to keep alive the idea that was first cultivated in 1956 of partition? Is it not another of the guarantor powers that advised, shortly after the implementation of the Zurich Agreement, on the amendments to the Constitution?” he said.
“The history of the country is well known and it is for this reason that only if one realizes the dangers or problems, either through the prolonged stalemate or through a solution, which would be called a solution but would be a dissolution, no one but no one could accept it,” he continued.
On Crans Montana, President Anastasiades said that it was possible for the UN Secretary General to understand the importance of the abolition of the anachronistic system of guarantees, to mobilise Europe and to be present, to have a situation where maps on the territorial issue could be presented for the first time, in the hope that a solution could be reached.
“Unfortunately, both the SG and those who invested in Turkey’s supposed goodwill were disappointed. They neither wanted an end to guarantees nor an end to the presence of occupation troops and of course the goal was always that through some provisions of supposed political equality they could control the whole state,” he said.
However, he noted, despite efforts, Turkish intransigence was revealed on 25 April 2021 when the Secretary-General convened the conference of the leaders of the two communities and the three guarantor powers, the proposal for a two-state solution was tabled. “A similar solution was not and cannot be accepted”.
Referring to the Association of Displaced Communities, the President said that the inaugurated building is expected to allow the continuation of the diverse activities of the Board and members of the Association. He acknowledged the Association as a partner in the effort to support occupied communities.
“Wanting to strengthen the function it performs, we covered the total cost of the construction of this building in order to provide a home, to provide a space in which the community leaders, the local authorities of the occupied territories could meet together to formulate policy, so that the memory remains unquenched.”
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results.
Source: Cyprus News Agency