South Cyprus President Anastasiades has said that there should be no further delay in the settlement of the Cyprus problem.
The president in his address to the UN General Assembly said that settlement of the decades-long dispute between North and South Cyprus to safeguard peace and stability on the island, was his government’s top priority.
“A few months ago my country received unprecedented international attention due to the economic crisis,” Anastasiades said. “My political vision is for Cyprus to receive yet again international attention, but this time for all the right reasons,” he stated.
Referring to the division of Cyprus as a “long-standing anachronism”, he added: “It is my firm belief that the current status quo is unacceptable and its prolongation would have further negative consequences for the Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Thus, a comprehensive settlement is not only desirable, but should not be further delayed.”
Anastasiades said that he was looking for an outcome that would be a “win-win” situation; not only for both communities but also for interested stakeholders. He said that the return of Famagusta would be a “game changer” and noted that bold moves were required to re-invigorate the Cyprus talks.
This move would benefit both communities by boosting economic activity and creating employment for both communities. Famagusta’s infrastructural restoration would revive hopes for a solution.
“Greek and Turkish Cypriots will come closer to the realisation of the benefits of sharing together a prosperous future, just as we have done so in the past,” he said.
In reference to Turkey, Anastasiades said that the Greek Cypriot rejection of the Annan Plan did not mean that Ankara no long had responsibilities towards the solution.
Nevertheless, the president welcomed Turkey’s “positive response” to a recent proposal of holding meetings with the chief Greek Cypriot negotiator.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that following a request from Nicosia, Greece agreed to meet the Turkish Cypriot negotiator so that the Greek Cypriot negotiator could have direct contact with Ankara.
Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos had made this disclosure following a meeting he had held with his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu in New York.
The disclosure was made by Greek foreign minister Evangelos Venizelos after a meeting he held with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in New York.
Anastasiades emphasised that both sides had to agree on some ground rules and objectives, essentially that the negotiations would be aimed at establishing “the evolving transformation of the Republic of Cyprus in a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal state, with a single international personality, single sovereignty and single citizenship.”
He added that while the European Union should play a part in the negotiating process, its role would “merely supplement and complement the UN Good Offices Mission.”
Referring to the discovery of hydrocarbons offshore South Cyprus, Anastasiades said energy should not be a source of conflict but rather a catalyst for conflict resolution.