It is essential to avoid the mistakes of the past in a future Cyprus settlement, South Cyprus government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides has said. People need to be presented with a clear plan with no ambiguities and no gaps that would jeopardise its implementation.
Speaking at an event in New York on Thursday, at the invitation of the Foreign Policy Association, Christodoulides also emphasised that President Nicos Anastasiades believed that it would be possible to find a solution to the Cyprus problem this year, providing everyone was committed and constructive about the thorny issues about to be discussed.
It was also important that there were no actions taken that could threaten the positive climate. “Turkey’s contribution in tangible terms is crucially important”, he said, adding that the South was counting on input from the United States.
Turkey will help solve the problem because it will realise the illegality of its presence in Cyprus and the violation of basic human rights of Cypriots, and will, therefore, decide to move decisively towards a solution because it will understand the benefits of such a development, he said.
Christodoulides noted that a solution will enable Ankara to be part of the strong regional cooperation that has developed in the region, in the field of energy and security and will boost EU-NATO and EU-Turkey relations.
With the [South’s] economy on the path of recovery, the government and Anastasiades are focusing their efforts on reaching a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, in line with EU law, values and principles.
Christodoulides said that after Mustafa Akinci was elected as leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, in May 2015, the negotiations have developed in a more positive climate.
He noted that common understanding has been reached on a significant number of issues related to the chapters of Governance and Power-Sharing, Property, Economy, and the EU, but “that there are still outstanding differences in the aforementioned four Chapters” while at the same time “we still have not held any substantive discussions on two decisive chapters, namely, Territorial Readjustments and Security and Guarantees”.