President discusses Cyprus issue with leaders of UK, Germany, France and Greece

The Cyprus issue was among the topics that President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades discussed during his meetings with the leaders of Germany, UK, Greece and France on the sidelines of the EU – Western Balkan Summit that took place in Sofia this week, Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Friday.

In statements at the Presidential Palace, Prodromou said that President Anastasiades held a series of meetings on the sidelines of the EU Summit, among others with the Prime Minister of Bulgaria Boyko Borissov, the President of France Emmanuel Macron, the Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras, the Prime Minister of the UK Theresa May and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Referring to the meetings with Merkel and Macron, he said that apart from bilateral relations, the Cypriot President discussed Cyprus energy plans as well as the Cyprus issue.

As regards the President’s meeting with the British Prime Minister, Prodromou said that President Anastasiades briefed her on the state of affairs regarding the Cyprus issue, and the UNSGs intention to appoint an advisor to pave the way for negotiations to resume.

He recalled that the UK has given its consent to this appointment, just like the Greek Cypriot, the Turkish Cypriot side and Greece.

Therefore, Prodromou added, it appears that we expect Turkeys position, noting that President Anastasiades asked Britain to exert its influence so that the Cyprus talks can resume.

He went on to say that President Anastasiades reiterated once more the readiness of the Greek Cypriot side to resume the negotiations in the context of the Guterres Framework, and underlined that he has repeatedly asked the UN to resume the talks, and asked for Britains contribution towards this end, given Londons position that it is necessary to negotiate a solution based on the UN framework, the UN resolutions and decisions.

The spokesman said that May briefed Anastasiades on the contacts she held with the Turkish President without elaborating further.

Replying to a question he said that it appears that the Cyprus problem is not a priority now for Ankara, adding that this may be due to the upcoming elections in the country.

Prodromou went on to say that despite that, the Greek Cypriot side continues its efforts, noting that talks must resume in order to explore the possibility to proceed based on the Guterres Framework, “which, as the Secretary General himself said, offered a historical opportunity”.

Replying to another question, he said that there is no similarity between the situation in Gaza and Cyprus, adding that the Cyprus problem continues for 44 years now, due to the occupation of part of the Cyprus terriroty by Turkish troops.

Responsible for the situation in Cyprus, Prodromou said, is Turkey, which maintains occupation troops and as it was obvious during the Crans Montana Cyprus talks last July, Ankara demands to maintain its troops and intervene in the internal affairs of the Cypriot state.

So, he added, Turkey is the last country to rely on other international problems to justify a problem (the Cyprus problem), which Ankara could solve as soon as possible.

Referring to the EU – Western Balkans Summit, Prodromou said that the EUs decision to continue and upgrade its relations with the countries in the Western Balkan region is of strategic importance.

Source: Cyprus News Agency