Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides travels to Berlin this week where he is expected to push once again for active EU involvement in peace talks on the divided island, a proposal so far rejected by Turkish Cypriots who call for cooperation between two states.
Christodoulides is paying a working visit to Germany this week, when he will meet on Wednesday with European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde in Frankfurt as well as hold talks on Thursday with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin.
Christodoulides is pushing for a European personality, a well-known public figure who would be able to help restart peace talks within a UN framework, but no persons have been named so far
According to the Cyprus News Agency, Christodoulides and Scholz will have a face-to-face meeting followed by extended talks between delegations of the two countries.
Besides bilateral and international affairs, a main issue according to CNA will be the Cypriot president’s “proposal for a more active EU involvement in efforts for the resumption of the negotiations for a settlement.”
Christodoulides has been pushing for a greater EU role on the Cyprus Problem since he launched an initiative when he assumed office earlier this year, with his campaign officials saying resumption of peace talks after elections in Turkey would be “one of his first actions.”
UN-led peace talks in Cyprus on the basis of a bicommunal federal model have failed over the years, with Christodoulides trying to revive the effort through Brussels in recent months.
"I am taking about the need for a more active and greater involvement of the EU within the framework of the United Nations," Christodoulides declared earlier this year.
Turkish Cypriots say EU is biased
But Turkish Cypriots have described the European Union’s involvement as “biased” while Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar has publicly rejected Christodoulides’ initiative, accusing the Greek Cypriot south of “trying to revive an old and proven unsuccessful proposal.”
A press release from Tatar’s office earlier this month accused Christodoulides of being a central figure in a recent failure of a “nine-year-long attempt at a federal solution.”
Tatar, who has called for cooperation between two states living side by side on the island, argues that Turkish Cypriots are seeking an alternative solution, such as one described in a recently launched book titled “Vision for Two States in Cyprus” penned by associate Kerem Haser.
The book, written in English in three sections, focuses on a thesis that aims to justify “why we have the two State policy, on the basis of sovereign equality and equal international status, that is fully supported by Motherland Türkiye,” a press release said.
“It explains the Greek Cypriot mentality and aspiration of wanting to unite the island of Cyprus with Greece (ENOSIS), and the 15 rejections of the Greek Cypriot Side of federal based plans and ideas over the past 60 years,” the statement added.
Government spokesperson Konstantinos Letymbiotis told CNA that Greek Cypriots also wanted close cooperation but clarified "through a definite, viable settlement of the Cyprus problem, on the basis of a bizonal, bicommunal federation.”
Christodoulides, who previously served as foreign minister, said he was determined to push for a European personality, a well-known public figure who would be able to help restart peace talks within a UN framework.
No persons have been named so far.
Letymbiotis said Christodoulides and Scholz would exchange views without ruling out a discussion on persons who could be appointed.
“Everybody with whom we have been discussing they understand that this proposal will result in a win-win situation. Turkey, our Turkish Cypriot compatriots, the EU, but mainly Cyprus will benefit from it," Letymbiotis said.