Remarks by the Government Spokesman

The United Nations informed the President of the Republic today that the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community will not attend the meeting of the leaders scheduled for tomorrow, said the Government Spokesman, Mr Nikos Christodoulides, today.

In his remarks to reporters following the meeting of the President of the Republic, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Cyprus, Ms Elizabeth Spehar, the Spokesman said that “unfortunately, Ms Spehar informed the President of the Republic that Mr Akinci will not attend tomorrow’s scheduled meeting and therefore, the meeting will not take place.

The President of the Republic expressed his sadness for the said development and, at the same time, reiterated his readiness for continuation of the substantive dialogue on the issues on which there are disagreements, so that we can reach an outcome on the basis of the relevant decisions of the UN, the Security Council, as well as the joint declaration of the two leaders in 2014.”

Asked how this must be handled now, the Spokesman said that “our readiness has been declared, the President of the Republic reiterated it also today, and we are ready to continue the dialogue.

The ball is in the court of the Turkish side. They are the ones who have refused to attend tomorrow’s scheduled meeting; we think it is a very negative development for all the people of Cyprus, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, and every one must assume their responsibilities.”

He added that “the message to our Turkish Cypriot compatriots is that they must understand their own responsibilities as well.”

Asked to comment on references by Turkey’s Foreign Minister regarding the issue of natural gas and that there are Turkish ships in the area, and if this is taken by the government of Cyprus as a threat, the Spokesman said that “these are remarks we heard before from the Turkish side. The best reply to Turkey’s Foreign Minister and all those that raise questions are the results of the third round of licensing by the Republic of Cyprus. We are, at this very moment that we are talking, and during the last few days, in negotiations with the companies for the completion of the relevant consultations. And we will not be embroiled in any dialogue about the energy plans of the Republic of Cyprus.”

Asked as to what will be the next steps and what will happen with the issue of the Conference on Cyprus in Geneva, the Spokesman said that “the President expressed also our readiness for the dialogue to continue in Geneva at the Conference on Cyprus. And whereas it looks like there is a desire by all the involved parties for this dialogue to continue, to attend a Conference on Cyprus, it seems that there are second thoughts on the part of Turkey.”

Source: Press and Information Office