Turkish Cypriots should decide to cut the umbilical cord with Turkey, President says

Turkish Cypriots must decide if they want to be part of Turkey or part of a Cyprus state as it will evolve, President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades has said.

During a televised press conference on Monday regarding the unsuccessful conclusion of the Conference on Cyprus, held in Crans Montana, Switzerland between June 28 � July 7, President Anastasiades said that Turkish Cypriots should also decide to cut the umbilical cord with Turkey.

Replying to questions by the media representatives, whether the acceptance of the parameters set by United Nations General Secretary Antiono Guteres is a precondition for the continuation of the process aiming at a Cyprus settlement, the President said that what we seek is the Turkish Cypriots to cut the umbilical cord with Turkey with the establishment of an independent state that won’t be depending on any third country and Turkey.

He added that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots could live together and they we got rid of occupation and guarantees and if Turkish troops withdrew from Cyprus. Then, he said, we could accept some concessions that could create the conditions for a normal state.

He further said that he is adamant and he insists that both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots should realise that they can live without the interventions of the guarantor countries.

President Anastasiades pointed out that since 1974 Greece never intervened in Cyprus’ internal affairs as opposed to what Turkey does while stressing that we want to maintain good bilateral relations with Turkey.

Replying to another question regarding the over optimism created either by UN or others regarding a positive outcome of the Crans Montana Conference on Cyprus, the President said that he had many times warned that cultivating a very optimistic feeling was not for the best.

I also warned that we were not adequately prepared to discuss territorial and guarantee issues, therefore we would create expectations to Cypriot people and that the foreseen failure would have a negative impact on the negotiations, he noted.

Replying to another question President Anastasiades explained that if he had declined the UNSG invitation to participate in the Conference, he would have given ground for others to say that the Greek Cypriot side avoids the dialogue, moreover that the agenda was set by Guterres himself thus accenting for the very first time the importance of ending the intervention rights or the guarantees and the withdrawal of Turkish troops.

Asked what the basis of the course onward would be, given that Turkey has questioned the existing parameters of the negotiations process while voices are raised in the internal front in favour of a new strategic policy, President Anastasiades stressed that it’s important to continue efforts to find a solution within UN parameters and decisions based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

Any change of policy would lead to Turkey proceeding with Plan B or Plan C, he said. He also expressed the belief the National Council set to convene Monday will deliberate on the issue so as we all know not only the title but also the content of this proposal regarding a new strategy.

He finally reiterated his persistence on finding a solution to the Cyprus problem that will satisfy the claims and meet the expectations of both communities.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern part. UN-backed talks that took place on June 28-July 7, in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, ended inconclusively. Peace talks aim to reunite Cyprus under a federal roof.

Source: Cyprus News Agency