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20 July, 2024
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Government disputes UK High Commissioner's call for incentives in Cyprus talks

Deputy Spokesperson stresses caution in sensitive stage, emphasizes impartiality in dealing with Turkish Cypriots' concerns

Newsroom / CNA

The Cyprus Government does not accept the position expressed by British High Commissioner Irfan Siddiq that Turkish Cypriots want incentives for the resumption of talks.

Deputy Government Spokesperson Yiannis Antoniou told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that at the current stage of the Cyprus problem, everyone has to be careful.

"We believe that we all have to be careful, especially at this stage, which is very sensitive, especially from a country that has an important role in the Cyprus problem such as the United Kingdom, which is also a guarantor power," he remarked.

In an interview on Sunday with "Kathimerini" newspaper, Siddiq said that Turkish Cypriots do not want to enter a never-ending process, to continue being isolated without recognition. He said they want incentives for the resumption of talks which will make them feel safe.

Deputy Spokesperson Antoniou said that "there must be an element of impartiality, as this applies to the statement he made on the issue that we must give incentives to the Turkish Cypriots and on the issue of measures."

"The measures towards the Turkish Cypriots are addressed to the Turkish Cypriot citizens, they are not addressed to the Turkish Cypriot leadership", the Cypriot Spokesperson clarified referring to measures announced by Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides recently to benefit Turkish Cypriots.

Regarding the contacts of the UN Secretary-General's Personal Envoy for Cyprus, Maria Angela Holguin Cuellar, Antoniou said "We anticipate the result of her contacts in Athens and certainly Ankara and of course London and Brussels."

He said, "It is important to create the conditions for us to go into negotiations, but we will all be judged not by our intentions but by our actions. We are ready to enter negotiations tomorrow morning, based on the resolutions of the UNSC and the negotiating acquis of Crans-Montana."

Holguin who has already left Cyprus, will have meetings in Athens on Tuesday. She is expected to be received by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and will have talks with Foreign Minister George Yerapetritis at 10 am, the Greek Foreign Ministry said.

Meanwhile, sources told CNA that Holguin will be in Ankara later this week but her meetings have not been confirmed.

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. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar of Colombia as his envoy for Cyprus, to assume a Good Offices role on his behalf and search for common ground on the way forward in the Cyprus issue.

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