President: Cyprus problem, natural wealth and promoting peace in the region are among our top priorities

Cyprus’ foreign policy aims first and foremost at reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem, safeguarding the exploration and exploitation of the Republic’s natural wealth, enhancing its participation in all EU pillars and policies and contributing to building and promoting peace and security in the region of Eastern Mediterranean, President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades has stressed.

Speaking during a ceremony on the occasion of the presentation of credentials by ten new Ambassadors in Cyprus, President Anastasiades expressed the deep sorrow, the condolences and the unwavering support of the people of Cyprus and his Government to the Greek people following the tragedy that the whole country is experiencing as a result of Monday’s deadly fires.

As regards the Cyprus problem, he said that he reiterated in the clearest terms to the UN Secretary-General, to partners in the EU, the Permanent and non-Permanent Members of the Security Council and the international community in general, that he remains strongly committed to resuming the negotiating process.

What is of course required is to create those necessary conditions that will allow the dialogue to resume on the basis of good will and constructive stance from all stakeholders, particularly by the Turkish side, in order to safeguard the positive outcome of the negotiations, he said.

He noted that during his meeting with the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary � General, he stressed that he remains sincerely committed to negotiate a solution within the framework set by the Secretary-General, as clarified on July 4, 2017, with the same determination and positive attitude we have demonstrated since the beginning of the dialogue.

Within this context, I do hope that the meetings of the special envoy of the United Nations which will soon take place with all other interested parties and stakeholders involved will allow the Secretary-General to be in a position to resume negotiations, he addd.

President Anastasiades stressed that the failure of the Conference on Cyprus in July 2017 was precisely due to Turkey’s insistence on its long-standing position in maintaining the continuation of the anachronistic system of guarantees, the unilateral right of intervention, and the permanent presence of Turkish troops on the island.

He also pointed out that the Greek Cypriot side has submitted comprehensive written proposals for each and every one of Guterres six-point framework, including on a new security architecture that would replace anachronisms and the strategic aspirations of third countries against Cyprus.

President Anastasiades said that the remaining significant differences on the other chapters of the Cyprus Problem can be easily resolved by adopting and respecting what is considered as our obligation, the European acquis.

I truly wish that both our Turkish Cypriots compatriots and Turkey will respond positively to the new prospect that is unfolding again upon us, he stressed and reassured for his determination to work tirelessly to reach a comprehensive settlement that will finally reunify our island after 44 years of division, ensuring conditions of safety for the future generations of Greek and Turkish Cypriots, without any third country military troops or guarantees.

President Anastasiades expressed his strong belief that the discovery of hydrocarbon reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean, including within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, can serve as a catalyst for a broader cooperation on a regional level.

As he pointed out, cooperation in hydrocarbons development can have a positive spillover effect in the political relations between the Eastern Mediterranean countries, building the foundations for regional peace. After all, economic partnerships form an integral part of political synergies.

Over the past years, the President said, Cyprus has progressed remarkably towards the realisation of its exploration program, despite threats or aggressive acts it had encountered. “We aspire to consolidate Cyprus as a natural gas producer and a transit country,” he added.

Moreover, he said that during the past few years the government has succeeded in turning an economy in distress into a story of strong economic recovery that has gained international praise.

He said that the positive repercussions of an ambitious reform programme and the careful management of state finances are being reflected through, among others, successive budget surpluses, a dynamic growth rate of 4%, a drastic reduction in unemployment, consecutive upgrades of our economy by international rating agencies, as well as a significant reduction in taxation.

Finally, President Anastasiades expressed to the new Ambassadors his strong commitment to continue working closely with them aiming at further developing the high level of cooperation both at bilateral and multilateral levels, as well as within the framework of the European Union, in order to deal with the multitude of challenges.

I conclude, by personally assuring you once more of the support of my Government to your noble mission, he said.

The President received the Credentials of the new Ambassadors of Switzerland, Portugal, Holly See, Laos, Latvia, Ecuador, Moldova, Dominican Republic, Uganda, Nigeria.

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