UNSG called Sunday’s meeting because of the proposals put forward by President Anastasiades, Spokesman says

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades’ initiative and the proposals he put forward were the reason that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called the meeting on Sunday with the two leaders, Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides has said, expressing hope that Turkey will contribute in a constructive way to the process for a Cyprus settlement.

If Turkey contributes to the process so that progress is achieved in the critical chapter of security and guarantees, the road will be paved for progress, in the remaining chapters, starting with the fundamental chapter of territory on which there are still significant unresolved issues (agreement on map, on number of displaced persons to return, on guidelines and areas of special status), he said, addressing the PSEKA Conference in Washington on Tuesday.

The Spokesman said that during the 3-hour long meeting in New York on Sunday, between the Secretary General and the leaders, President Anastasiades and Yurkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, agreement was reached on the need to reconvene the Conference on Cyprus in June, in the same format as on January with the aim to discuss � in a substantial and results oriented manner – the important chapter of Securities and Guarantees.

As is stated in the press statement, and this is of great significance, he pointed out all agreed that the chapter on security and guarantees is of vital importance and the progress in this chapter is an essential element in reaching an overall agreement on the Cyprus Problem. In this regard, during the next days the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General will engage with all participants in the preparation of a common document to guide the discussions on security and guarantees.

Regarding the way forward, and having in mind what was agreed on Sunday, it is clear that what is of decisive importance is Turkeys positions on security, the Spokesman said.

The leaders of Cyprus’ two communities and the UN Secretary-General on Sunday agreed on the need to reconvene the Conference on Cyprus in June, in line with the 12 January statement of the conference.

President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met in New York, with the UN Secretary General in an effort to help make headway in the Cyprus peace process.

Anastasiades and Akinci have been engaged in talks since May 2015 to find a negotiated settlement that will reunite Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion, under a federal roof.

?ddressing the participants of the PSEKA Conference, Christodoulides said: Have no doubt: we draw strength and courage from your efforts and from your long-standing dedication, which enhance and shield our own efforts. President Anastasiades is deeply appreciative for the work you do in the service of Cyprus here in the United States of America.

The Spokesman went on to say that now, perhaps more than ever, both due to the critical stage at which the negotiations are and to the closeness and the potential in our partnership with the United States, our coordination is of crucial importance.

Our dialogue is vital in developing strategies and coordinating our actions in promoting the interests of Cyprus, and its national cause, here in the United States, he said.

According to the Spokesman, Cyprus has proven that it is a reliable, predictable, trustworthy partner in the Eastern Mediterranean and that “our geostrategic value lies in our bridging role. We have proven through fostering and leading regional cooperation, through successfully combating asymmetrical threats that we are not any more a single-issue country, Christodoulides said.

He referred to Cyprus’ regional role as a stable and reliable partner to its neighbours, but also to Europe and to the United States , pointing out that this role should be emphasized when interacting with the US administration.

In tandem, the viability of the settlement is a crucial parameter that we should impress on our US partners; a non-viable, non-functional solution is a bad solution not only for Cyprus but also for the United States, and its interest in the Eastern Mediterranean.A functional and viable solution to the Cyprus problem should amplify further Cypruss regional role, to the benefit of Cyprus, the region and Cyprus’s transatlantic partners, the Spokesman said.

Christodoulides underlined that we are at a critical point in time, and in this light and considering that there is a new administration with whom we are committed to working closely, the contribution of the diaspora assumes an even greater importance.

Within this context we are looking forward to a substantial and results oriented discussion between President Anastasiades and Vice President Pence this Thursday. A discussion that will not concentrate on the Cyprus problem but also will touch on the important issues of common concern such as Energy, security in the Eastern Mediterranean, terrorism and transatlantic relations, he said.

Source: Cyprus News Agency