Press Conference by the President of the Republic following his meeting with the UNSG and the leader of the T/C community, in New York

The President of the Republic, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, met, today, at the UN headquarters in New York, with the UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Mr Mustafa Akinci.

Present at the meeting were also the Government Spokesman, Mr Nikos Christodoulides, the interlocutor Mr Andreas Mavroyiannis, the Permanent Representative of the Republic to the UN, Mr Nicholas Emiliou, and government staff.

After the meeting the UN Secretary-General, in the presence of the leaders of the two communities, made a statement with regard to the meeting.

Subsequently, the President of the Republic, speaking during a press conference he summoned, said that “the meeting provided the opportunity for both the progress made so far and the existing differences to be heard. I want to express my full satisfaction with the result of the meeting, since the opportunity was provided to raise not only the significant convergences but also the divergences that exist on important chapters.

What has been agreed is that with our return to Cyprus we, the two leaders and the negotiating teams of course, will engage in an intensive manner or continue the intense efforts in order to achieve at the earliest possible and if possible, even if it is ambitious, a solution within 2016, which will lead toward a modern European state completely functional and viable that will unite the country, the institutions and the people, but will also create, at the same time, the prospects for a prosperous homeland away from whatever problems we faced in the past.

There were neither timetables set, and it was not possible for anything like that to happen, nor any format deviating from the principle that it is a Cypriot owned process without arbitrations and especially without any artificial timetables.

As I also told the Secretary-General, our side is determined to work tirelessly in order to achieve, at the earliest possible, a solution that will address the expectations and the concerns of both communities; a solution that will be functional, viable and lasting; a solution that will respect the human rights of all our citizens, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and which will not call for whatever dependencies from third parties.

I repeat that I am fully satisfied and this is registered in the statement by the UN Secretary-General.”

President Anastasiades then referred to the contacts he had during his stay in New York, stating that “during my presence here I had meetings with, among others, the UN Secretary-General, the Vice President of the United States of America, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, the President of Egypt, the Prime Minister of Greece, the President of Palestine, and I attended a working lunch with the Permanent Representatives of the five Permanent Members of the Security Council.

Parallel to my own efforts, the Minister of Foreign Affairs met with, among others, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom, Lebanon, New Zealand, Bangladesh and others. He also met with the Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs at the Department of State of the United States, with the Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, with the head of the Foreign Relations Department of the Kurdistan Regional Government. He also attended a Ministerial Meeting of the Commonwealth and he presided over the Action Committee of the Commonwealth.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs also participated in two tripartite meetings at the level of Foreign Ministers with Greece and Palestine as well as with Greece and Egypt, respectively, in the framework of our effort to address jointly, through this kind of regional collaborations and synergies, challenges that we have in front of us as well as to promote activities for the benefit of the people of the region.

At my private meeting with the UN Secretary-General I referred both to the significant progress that has been made and the equally significant problems that we face on issues of substantive importance.

I did the same with the Vice President of the United States with whom, I must say, I was fully satisfied over the constructive stance he maintained on the issues that I raised, whether it is called property issue or territorial readjustments or guarantees. With the US Vice President we also discussed bilateral issues that interest the two countries, including Energy, but also strategic cooperation in a number of sectors.

During my meeting with the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs I briefed him on the current phase of the Cyprus problem, about the positive, the negative, but in particular on the issues concerning property, in other words, where most of the problems arise, the territorial readjustments and of course security. I must express my satisfaction for the understanding that I received from the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

At the same time, we had the opportunity to exchange views on bilateral issues based also on the agreements that were signed last year with President Putin.

During my meeting with the Permanent Representatives of the Permanent Members of the Security Council, there was a full briefing on the Cyprus problem and the current phase of both the positive aspects and those remaining to be decided; it was stressed, in particular, that there must be absolute respect by everyone for the Cypriot ownership of the negotiations, and avoidance of any interventions whether for the setting of timetables or especially for arbitration issues.

With my friend the President of Egypt the excellent level of our relations was confirmed, we discussed issues about the coming tripartite meeting in Cairo on 11-12 October, and of course about other issues of bilateral interest. I had the opportunity to thank him for the position that Egypt maintains – a position of principle on the Cyprus problem – at the Islamic Conference.

With the Greek Prime Minister we are in constant contact and mutual briefing. I want to express my full satisfaction for the perfect stance and absolute support that we have from the Greek government.

With the Palestinian President we discussed ways of strengthening our bilateral relations and he expressed the desire, following my invitation, to visit Cyprus within 2016.

I also met with the Prime Minister of the Holy See during which I briefed him on the Cyprus problem and we discussed issues of bilateral interest.

During my presence here, I had contacts with organizations of the Cypriot and Greek communities, and I expressed my gratitude for their selfless support on the Cyprus case over the years.

I had the opportunity to meet with His Eminence Archbishop of America Mr Demetrios, and everyone knows the special an interest he demonstrates vis-A�-vis Cyprus. And that is why I want to thank him warmly.

I also met with officials of the Cyprus-US Chamber of Commerce, with whom I exchanged views about ways to further promote Cyprus-US trade and economic relations.

I consider of particular significance my meeting with the heads of the American Jewish Committee, whom I briefed on the excellent relations between Cyprus and Israel, the prospects that are created for further cooperation, and I expressed my gratitude for the honor they bestowed on me through their decision to award me the highest honorary distinction of the Committee, something that is done for personalities who are distinguished for the sincere friendship but also the willingness for deepening relations further, both with Israel and the United states.”

Source: Press and Information Office