Prospects of a political settlement in Cyprus must not be lost, Foreign Minister points out

The prospects of a settlement of the Cyprus problem and what has been achieved during the latest round of the UN-led peace talks must not be lost, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said on Tuesday, adding that if the dialogue resumes on the basis of the framework set out by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, then the timeframe will be brief.

Asked, after a ceremony during which the new German Ambassador in Cyprus presented his credentials to President Nicos Anastasiades, if meetings or any other consultations are taking place behind the scenes in view of the forthcoming UN General Assembly session, Kasoulides recalled that the UN Secretary General had requested all the sides to use this time as a reflection period and look into ways in which things can move forward.

“President Anastasiades has expressed on many occasions our readiness to discuss in the framework of the six points determined by the Secretary General Antonio Guterres, as long as everything will be prepared for a new Conference during which it will not be expected to solve everything at a dinner, he added.

Asked if nothing substantive should be expected on the Cyprus issue because of the 2018 presidential elections, the Foreign Minister said that he could not determine this. He said that the election campaign is underway and each candidate sends his own messages.

He stressed that the prospect of a Cyprus settlement as well as what was achieved during the recent talks must not be lost and that once talks resume they must not last as long as the previous round of talks since, as he explained, discussions will begin from an advanced point of the negotiations, such as the six-point framework set out by the UNSG Antonio Guterres.

Responding to a question, Kasoulides said that timeframes are established on the basis of the progress made at the talks. Therefore if we begin on the basis of the Guterres framework, then the time will be short, the noted.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The latest round of UN-peace talks ended inconclusively on July 7. Talks held under the auspices of the UN aim at reuniting Cyprus under a federal roof.

Source: Cyprus News Agency