Solution lies with Cypriots not Turkey: Koenig

The solution to the Cyprus problem lies with the Cypriots rather than the Greek Cypriot government’s assertion that it lies with Turkey, ‘Cyprus Mail’ reports.

Reporting on separate interviews published in both sides of Cyprus, the US and UK leaders of diplomatic missions representing two permanent members of the UN Security Council have both said they are satisfied with Turkey’s stance in support of the Cyprus negotiations thus far.

In an interview with Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Kibris’, US Ambassador John Koenig emphasised Turkey’s support of a Cyprus solution, contradicting the South’s argument that Ankara has yet to back up by deeds what it declares in public about wanting a settlement.

In reference to statements made by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu during his recent visit to the “occupied north”, Koenig said: “We were very satisfied with the Turkish support offered to the Cyprus problem. We believe that Turkey’s contribution is of vital importance for a compromise in Cyprus.”

Koenig said that the Cyprus issue is discussed at the highest level during contacts between the US and Turkey, adding that the US Secretary of State John Kerry recently discussed with Davutoglu, the mutual benefits in supporting a Cyprus solution.

 “However, what is essentially important is for the sides in Cyprus to continue having a will for progress and solving the differences. This is the essence of the Cyprus problem,” he added.

In a separate interview with the Cyprus News Agency, newly appointed British High Commissioner, Damian Roderic Todd, said the key to a solution lies with the Cypriots, who need to forge an agreement on what the shape of a settlement would look like.

He said that a political settlement, based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with single citizenship, sovereignty and international identity, would benefit all Cypriots.

“As soon as I arrived I had the opportunity to visit and walk in the buffer zone. And the same thought always comes to mind: what a waste of potential. The continuation of the division in Cyprus is such a waste,” he said.

Pointing out Turkey’s value to NATO and the UK’s support for Turkey’s EU accession, Todd said: “This is in no sense contrary to good relations with others. “We feel the Turkish government does want to see a solution in Cyprus. It supports UN efforts and has made clear the wish to be engaged in this”.

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