While President Eroglu was visiting Ankara to discuss the Cyprus problem and the TRNC economy on Thursday, his Greek Cypriot counterpart, Anastasiades issued a statement during a meeting with British MPs and Peers, in London, about the joint statement.
He declared that he had shown good will and a constructive attitude towards the concerns of the Turkish Cypriots. Such issues were, internal citizenship and constituent states along with residual powers to be allocated by the constitution of the constituent states. However, he regretted to say that he had been faced with continuous efforts to erode the foundations of the proposed settlement, by the presentation of the idea of two separate sovereign states and public statements suggesting a two-state solution.
Anastasiades was emphatic that there should be no room for ambiguity or “creative thinking” as regards sovereignty, which is consolidated in international and constitutional law and is referred to in multiple Security Council Resolutions. He added that the question was, “in the light of the near impasse the Turkish approach is leading us to, is what to do next?”
The president reminded everyone that in this regard, he had sent a letter to the UN Secretary General on 2nd January, 2014, suggesting the formulation of a substantial, simple and considerably briefer Joint Declaration. The new declaration should contain three elements: clear reference to the High Level Agreements and the relevant United Nations resolutions, in particular, Security Council Resolution 1251 (1999), that fully elaborates the basis of the settlement of the Cyprus problem and stresses with absolute clarity that the state of Cyprus will possess a single international personality, a single sovereignty and a single citizenship, clear reference to membership in the European Union and to the primacy of human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots, and clear outline of the methodology.
This short declaration would be the key to unlocking the negotiation process, would allow the first formal meeting of the two presidents and would be the first milestone on the road to meaningful negotiations.
Anastasiades said that he aspired to reunite Cyprus while the Turkish Cypriots were outlining the means to a future separation.
“The people of Cyprus, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, deserve a durable settlement and I must assume the responsibility not to give them false hopes in a stillborn process,” he stressed.
He also pointed out that the settlement must be sufficiently secure enough to be able to stand up to any attempts to challenge the unity of the federal State, or to undermine or attempt to dissolve that state or to any attempts to gain international recognition of the TRNC.
Anastasiades said that he was convinced that the joint declaration was imperative to avoid time-wasting misinterpretations in the negotiation and noted that not one single agreement had been reached on any of the core issues of the Cyprus problem had been reached in previous processes.
He emphasised that the definition of sovereignty had been most recently reaffirmed in 2010 by the then leaders of the two communities as “single and indivisible” and it is also included in the reference document of 2008-2012, prepared by the United Nations good offices team, he added.
Anastasiades noted that he very much regretted that the Turkish Cypriots had rejected his most recent proposals for the joint statement on 27th December, 2013.
“Our only two added suggestions were: ‘Union in whole or in part with any other country or any form of partition or secession is excluded’ and ‘Any dispute as regards federal laws’ or constituent states’ laws will be adjudicated finally by the Federal Supreme Court’,” adding that these two proposals had been incorporated in all previous proposals or plans for the Cyprus problem.
He stated: “I can only attribute the rejection of latest draft to the absence of the vision of reunification on the part of our interlocutors.”
Anastasiades reiterated his vision for a re-united Cyprus, free from “occupation” troops, fully respecting the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all its citizens and fulfilling the aspirations of all Cypriots to live and thrive within the European family.