President stresses he will never accept blackmail in Cyprus issue

President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades has stressed that he will never accept blackmail tactics or any negotiation under threats regarding the Cyprus issue, noting that recently everyone has seen an escalation of Turkey’s internationally deplored actions.


Addressing the online ceremony of the World Conference of Overseas Cypriots, President Anastasiades said that actions such as the violation of the Republic of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone and sea, the threats against Greece and most of its neighbours, and the new invasions in Libya and Syria, which contradict international law and raise tension in the broader area, undermining stability, peace and security.


President Anastasiades pointed out that the only way to terminate and prevent such tension was to adopt a decisive stance with measures that will clarify to Turkey that it cannot continue to act undisturbed in the area.


He said efforts were focusing on reaching a peaceful and viable solution, based on international law, and noted that, apart from good preparation and cooperation for a positive outcome of negotiations, Turkey had to respect the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus and terminate any provocative actions, especially its illegal invasion in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, and stop threatening to colonise the fenced-off town of Famagusta.


President Anastasiades made clear that he would never accept blackmail tactics or any negotiation under threats regarding the Cyprus issue, adding that he would not present to the people a proposed solution that did not meet their expectations and did not restore their inalienable rights.


Addressing the overseas Cypriots, he praised their work and efforts towards a peaceful solution of the Cyprus problem.


He also expressed his sorrow for the overseas Cypriots who lost the battle against COVID-19 and his gratitude for all the assistance in repatriating Cypriots who were stranded abroad during the lockdown.


Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.


UN Secretary – General, Antonio Guterres, appointed in the summer of 2018 senior American UN official Jane Holl Lute in order to conduct consultations with all parties of the Conference on Cyprus. Lute visited Cyprus several times and met Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades, and Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, with a view to clinch an agreement on the Terms of Reference that would lead to the resumption of the negotiations for a Cyprus settlement. To that end she also held contacts with the three guarantor powers, namely the UK, Greece and Turkey.


After a tripartite meeting, in Berlin, on November 25 2019, among Guterres, Anastasiades and Akinci, the UN Secretary – General issued a statement saying that he agreed to extend his efforts to achieve terms of reference to serve as a consensus starting point for phased, meaningful, and results-oriented negotiations at the earliest feasible opportunity.


Efforts to convene an informal five-party meeting, in a bid to conclude the terms of reference and resume negotiations for a Cyprus settlement, were expected to start after April 2020 and the “elections” in the Turkish Cypriot community. However, the “elections” have been suspended for October 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Source: Cyprus News Agency


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