South wants return of Varosha and Nicosia airport

Greek Cypriot government spokesman Nikos Christodoulides has said that the fenced-off city of Varosha and the buffer-zone should be returned to Greek Cypriot control. He added that he hoped that Nicosia airport would also come under Greek Cypriot control in the event of a Cyprus settlement.

In an interview with Radio Proto, Christodoulides said that exporting natural gas to Turkey may be one option. However, until there is a solution it could not be considered at the present time.

Christodoulides said, “Either Turkey will consent to a solution to the Cyprus problem, or it will remain on the outside of discussions in the region.”

He said that Turkey and Israel’s relations will be improved through the energy sector, only with the participation of Cyprus, and the solution of the Cyprus problem.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he said, had told President Anastasiades that any attempt to re-establish relations with Turkey does not affect the strategic relations between (South) Cyprus and Israel.

Regarding the funding of the solution, he said funding was a very import aspect of the solution. Representatives of the IMP and the World Bank are researching studies to see what will be required. He noted that it was not possible to make a sound estimation of the cost of a solution.

Christodoulides said that it was necessary to understand that future investors in Cyprus would want a secure, European environment.

Referring to the energy conference between Greece, South Cyprus and Israel. He said the meeting was historic and the second initiative the South had taken in the region. Such moves had increased the status of Cyprus in the region, the spokesman said.

Christodoulides said that if all the countries in the region work together in the energy sector, it would improve the strength of all the states.  He added that they will then be closer to the goal of having the Eastern Mediterranean as an alternative energy source for the EU.

He concluded by saying that the trilateral contacts are attracting interest of other partners and EU member states.


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