Progress in Cyprus’ settlement efforts depend on Turkey, House President says

The prospects for making progress in Cyprus settlement efforts depend solely on Turkey, not the ongoing negotiation talks, House President Demetris Syllouris said.

Speaking Friday in Larnaca, at an event to mark festivities for the 1821 Greek War of Independence and the start of the anti-colonial struggle in Cyprus, on April 1, 1955, Syllouris said that Turkeys insistence for unfair solutions in Cyprus and its unreasonable demands, aiming to control the island in the post-settlement era, make negotiations very difficult, if not hopeless.

Crucial negotiations between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leadership will determine the national, political and social survival of our country, the President of the House noted.

He added that Cyprus remains in 2017 a semi-occupied country, continuing its struggle vis-A�-vis “an arrogant and intransigent Turkey, that does not hide its imperialist and expansionist disposition”.

We ought to realize that our struggle today is against Turkeys occupation and that the Cyprus problem is not a bi-communal one, he said.

Syllouris added that this is a problem of “illegal invasion, continuous occupation of our territories, violation of human rights of the Cypriot people, violation of international law, of the acquis communautaire and of Security Council resolutions”.

The Turkish side is negotiating while retaining its maximalist positions, Syllouris went on and noted that those who dont realize that Ankara is pulling the strings of the Turkish Cypriot leadership, are out of touch with reality.

Despite the limited room for maneuver for the Greek Cypriot side, we ought to insist with our efforts, since abandoning them is tantamount to accepting the division of our country, Syllouris concluded.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-led talks between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot side resumed in May 2015 with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.

The talks were interrupted in mid February by the Turkish Cypriot side, which demands that a decision passed by the Cypriot Parliament relating to a 1950 referendum on union with Greece is revoked, claiming this indicates a shift in the Greek Cypriot sides goal for a federal solution. The amendment provides that there will be a very brief reference once a year to the referendum at schools.

President Anastasiades has described the House decision as wrong and called on the leader of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, who walked out of the talks, to return to the negotiating table to discuss pending issues with a view to reach a mutually acceptable agreement to reunite the country.

Source: Cyprus News Agency