If the next meetings with Turkish Cypriot community leader Mustafa Akinci deliver what is expected, there is cause for cautious optimism, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Sunday.
The Cyprus negotiations are at a critical point, Anastasiades, who was speaking at a memorial service for EOKA fighters in Yeri, said.
“The results so far on the table allow us to be cautiously optimistic. If subsequent meetings with Mr Akinci deliver what we expect, then we will be able to more confidently talk about a positive outcome to this long negotiation process.”
“The negotiation process for the solution of our national problem is a decisive turning point,” the president said. “The results so far on the table allow us to be cautiously optimistic.”
Anastasiades said the status quo could not “be our future”.
He reminded that as agreed with Akinci, the content of their discussions would not be made public before 14th September 14, in order not to disturb the atmosphere of the discussions.
Political party leaders would be briefed on the content of the meetings before he leaves for New York to attend the UN General Assembly sometime around 17th September. They would also be able to read documents on the negotiations at the presidential palace, he noted.
“I will not make reference to two essential chapters on territorial adjustments and guarantees,” he said. “Our positions are well known.”
Speaking to the press after the memorial service, Anastasiades said that what mattered to him was what the Greek Cypriot side brought to the negotiations and not what the other side wanted to achieve.
“I will deal with what Mr Akinci says within the negotiations. It is what we are putting forward as the Greek Cypriot side that counts for me and not what other community seeks to achieve.”
“What today is considered stability is nothing more than ephemeral because we see how fluid the situation in the world is, and particularly in our region,” he said, adding that time was a factor “that unfortunately works to the detriment of all of us.”
“My own belief is that we have reached the fullness of time to put an end to years of tensions and insecurity, to shake hands and lead our country to peace process, security, stability and prosperity.”
Asked if there was any other way said to recover territory, gain restitution or to prevent the annexation of North Cyprus to Turkey, to secure human rights and safeguard the four freedoms under the EU acquis, Anastasiades said:
“Similar concerns have to be addressed by our Turkish Cypriot compatriots, who should ponder what will be their benefits from the termination of this situation. They have to realise that only through a mutually agreed solution will they be able to stand as an equal in the international community. Only through the solution will achieve financial independence.” He added that equally they must realise that their security cannot threaten the Greek Cypriot community.
The people will decided whether or not they accept a solution, Anastasiades reiterated.
“The initial positions to the negotiating table do not mean they will be the final position. Mutual concessions will be made by both sides in order to respect the concerns of and not affect the interests of the other,” he concluded.