Bleak prospects for renewal of Cyprus talks

President Eroglu, in a written statement following his meeting with UN Special Advisor for Cyprus, Alexander Downer on Tuesday, called on President Anastasiades to resume the peace talks this week.

In the written statement, Eroglu said that he had had a frank and honest meeting with Downer and that they had discussed the last point reached on the joint agreement and how they might overcome the remaining obstacles. Eroglu said that the Turkish Cypriot side maintains a constructive attitude at this critical stage. He argued that their strategy is to secure the continuation of the new partnership that they are trying to establish. He also argued that they are keeping in mind the concerns of the opposite side and are trying to reflect them in their proposals. In order for this to be possible, alongside overcoming the concerns of the Greek Cypriot side, one side should be prevented from monopolising the international identity of the island, whilst alleging that it represents all of Cyprus.

He went on saying that he had the political required to establishing a permanent and viable united Cyprus and he expects the same stance from Anastasiades. He also said that if the Greek Cypriots side agrees, they are ready to resume the Cyprus talks from the point they were left off this week. He also extended the hand of reconciliation to Anastasiades, stating that if they resume the negotiations this week, they could reach a comprehensive solution in the first quarter of 2014.

He added that Downer, following his one and a half hour meeting with Eroglu, had declined to give any details of the discussions as they had reached a sensitive point in the talks.

At the same time, President Anastasiades has said the Turkish stance on the Cyprus issue is leading to a deadlock in the long-delayed negotiation process.

Turkish intransigence, he said, is blocking the path toward negotiations to find a solution to the Cyprus problem.

Anastasiades said that the Greek Cypriot side continues to make every effort so as “to ensure that the basic principles of the solution are safeguarded and the concerns of our Turkish Cypriot compatriots are met”.

“But it is with regret that I tell you today that we are heading towards a deadlock due to the Turkish intransigence”, he stressed.

He said that the Greek Cypriot side will maintain its stance, explaining that before the Cyprus talks resume, the basic principles of the solution of the Cyprus problem should be guaranteed.

Those principles, he said, are based on the UN Security Council’s resolutions, which do not question that the united Cyprus Republic should have a single international personality, a single sovereignty and a single citizenship.

Those who reject that, he added, are those who are aiming for a ‘two-state’ solution or a solution based on a confederation of “two alleged pre-existing sovereign states”.

“Illegality does not create law and cannot be acceptable,” he emphasised.

President Anastasiades called upon the international community to undertake its responsibilities and exert pressure on the side which remains intransigent.

“Whoever truly wants to help, those who showed interest in the resumption of the dialogue, have no other choice than to turn their attention to the Turkish side, either the Turkish government or the Turkish Cypriot leadership”, he stressed. “We will not accept a fait accompli”, he added.

The President said that the coming days will be decisive for the Greek Cypriot side’s stance, which will depend on the Turkish Cypriot side’s response.

“Unfortunately, so far, things have not been encouraging”.

The President said that the Cyprus problem is not an inter-communal problem, it does not concern the two communities in Cyprus, but is a problem created in 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and since then occupy 37% of Cyprus’ territory.

“The Cyprus problem is a problem of invasion and occupation”, he stressed.

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