The Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the United Nations, Ambassador Andreas Hadjichrysanthou, expressed to Cyprus News Agency his concerns and his disappointment over the reports concerning the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and the Secretary-General's Good Offices Mission, noting that there is no mention anywhere of a Cyprus settlement.
The Ambassador focuses on three key points on which the reports should emphasize. "First, there is no explicit, clear mention of a solution. Secondly, the gravity of the situation in Varosha, with the ongoing violations by the Turkish side, with the obvious aim of absorbing and exploiting this region economically, is not outlined. The third point we are not happy with is that the report contains no reference to future prospects, as the political process is concerning because there is no political process" Hadjichrysanthou says.
these reports are more problematic than the previous ones because they suggest that the only thing we can do now, instead of...trying to solve the Cyprus problem, is for the two sides to cooperate
He adds that Turkey refuses to negotiate unless its preconditions to recognize the sovereign equality and equal international status for the pseudo-state are met, which, according to the Ambassador, comprises a clear violation of Security Council resolutions. "We cannot accept such a thing" he notes.
While Turkey remains intransigent, Turkey's violations on the ground continue. The report describes things in a way as if there is an attempt to normalize the existing regime through work, such as the one by the technical committees, says Hadjichrysanthou.
He also points out that the Cyprus issue is not a problem created by the lack of trust between the two sides, but rather a problem caused by a foreign invasion and occupation.
Asked if he believes there is room for improving the reports, he says that "these reports are more problematic than the previous ones because they suggest that the only thing we can do now, instead of sitting at the negotiating table and trying to solve the Cyprus problem, is for the two sides to cooperate."
The Ambassador expresses hope that the reports to be voted on July 28, will contain a strong verbal condemnation of the ongoing violations in Varosia and will also encourage the Secretary-General to continue with efforts to resume negotiations.
Replying to another question, the Ambassador says that it is also very important that the House passed the amendment blocking the sale of F-16s to Turkey.
"Certainly upgrading the Turkish war machine with any additional weapons, including those from the USA, does not contribute to normality and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean" he notes.
Asked if he considers the amendment to be a small victory for Greece and a message for Turkey, Hadjichrysanthou says "yes, it is a positive step." "Unfortunately, Turkey never acknowledges the messages, because it feels that it is so valuable to its neighbors that it be allowed to continue undeterred" he says, noting that this stance is provocative.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results.