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16 June, 2024
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President Christodoulides stands firm on peace plan

Cyprus peace talks: President vows personal approval for plan

Newsroom / CNA

President Nikos Christodoulides vowed that he will not put before the citizens a peace plan for the Cyprus issue with which he does not agree and expressed once again his readiness to enter into reunification talks based on the agreed framework.

President Christodoulides, who was speaking during a televised press conference at the Presidential Palace about the first year of his administration on Tuesday evening, noted that he will enter into talks based on the agreed framework that includes UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' proposals, as submitted in 2017 in Crans Montana, pointing out that a two-state solution is not an option for discussion.

The President noted also that two states or recognition of another state could not possibly be accepted.

He went on to say that Cyprus, as a small state under occupation is not at the centre of the world and what we need to do is, through our actions, to highlight our added value, noting that "this is the only way to attract international interest about your own interests."

President Christodoulides said that we cannot sit for talks in Brussels and be single-minded and referred to Nicosia’s proposal for a humanitarian aid maritime corridor to Gaza, with the primary objective to help people at risk and at the same time to highlight Cyprus’ significance.

He also said that he is happy when both the EU and the US see the role that Cyprus could play. He added that the solution to the Cyprus problem, could bring about benefits for everyone, not only for Cyprus and its people, but also for the EU, the region and Turkey.

Replying to a question the President said that every Cypriot citizen, Greek Cypriot or Turkish Cypriot should be able to choose where to live. He noted that it is not possible a citizen of Germany to be able to choose where to reside, but a Greek Cypriot or Turkish Cypriot to have restrictions to this right.

Responding to another question President Christodoulides said that history has shown that every plan for solution or any initiative was worse than the last. This, he said, changed in 2004 when Cyprus joined the EU . But he went on to say that time creates a negative fait accompli and this situation does not allow for Cyprus to reach its full potential.

The President said that he is worried about the impasse but noted that if there is a deadlock this won’t be his own fault, pointing out that if during his tenure no progress is achieved towards a Cyprus solution he will certainly not be a happy man.

He also noted that there are no unresolved problems or frozen conflicts, giving the example to what is happening right now in Gaza.

Referring to the mission of the UNSG's personal envoy in Cyprus President Christodoulides said that there is no time restriction but at the same time this mission "is not an open-ended one."

He note that we cannot be in discussions forever and this is the reason we need to do everything possible for the resumption of the talks. The President also pointed out that if he didn't believe that the Cyprus problem could be solved, he wouldn't invest so much time in this effort.

"I really believe", he added, "that the solution of the Cyprus problem, based on the agreed framework, is possible."

Replying to another question he said that Cyprus-Greece relations are excellent, noting that since the Republic of Cyprus was founded in 1960, we now have the very first Cyprus-Greece Intergovernmental Conference. About Greek-Turkish issues, he noted that there is a dialogue that has not resolved the differences, but added that positive developments would be beneficial for the Cyprus issue as well.

President Christodoulides also noted that there cannot be a complete normalisation of relations between Greece and Turkey, without resolving the Cyprus issue.

Asked about his proposal for an EU envoy for Cyprus, the President of the Republic said that such an appointment remains a goal. He said that "talks are ongoing with a specific personality", who is not former German chancellor Angela Merkel , but he noted that he cannot disclose the name in public. He also said that the EU worked "with absolute sincerity" for the appointment of Holguin.

He pointed out that some powerful EU member states wanted to see an UN envoy being appointed first and then to proceed with the talks for an EU envoy.

Referring to the usurpation of Greek Cypriot properties in the Turkish occupied areas the President noted that our main weapon to deal with the matter, is legal measures that are being worked on and are in an advanced stage covering all the occupied territories.

He also said he raised the issue at political level during talks with the Israeli Government, referring to the increased interest by Israelis to purchase property in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus.

He also referred to the recent provocations by the occupying administration against Greek Cypriot enclaved students attending schools in Rizokarpaso. He said that the occupying forces know very well that the sovereign equality they seek cannot be achieved at the negotiating table, and they are trying to achieve this through provocations.

He added that through these provocations as well as the recent violations in the buffer zone, the occupying regime is questioning the role of UNFICYP.

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 Holguín as his personal 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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