Troops out and reunify country: Anastasiades says

President Nicos Anastasiades has promised to prepare well over the next few months, with the view of making fresh efforts to settle the Cyprus problem.

In statements he made on Sunday, President Anastasiades said that during the next few months the government will prepare well, so that the beginning of a new negotiating process will signal a new era of hope and prospects for Cyprus.

The aim, he said, is to see Turkish troops withdraw, to reunify the country and to turn it into a modern European state.

A state, he added where the protection of human rights will come first; a state which will offer all its citizens the prospect of progress and prosperity.

Despite the fact that the economy is a top priority at the moment, the problem of the division of Cyprus is equally as important he stressed, noting that it would be inconceivable to focus attention only on prosperity without working for a free country. However he stressed that he will not accept terms and preconditions which will challenge or that tend to challenge the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus within its Exclusive Economic Zone and the right to choose the way and time frame of exploiting its natural wealth.

Elsewhere, Greek Cypriot Defence Minister Photis Photiou said that any forced solution to the Cyprus problem through an “express process”, is unacceptable,

The minister said that the goal is a viable and functioning Cyprus solution, in the framework of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, with political equality, that will guarantee a state with a single sovereignty, citizenship and international personality, the Minister said.

Photiou further noted that the basis of negotiations needs to be agreed before any new process begins, taking fully into account the fundamental principles for a Cyprus solution, as outlined in UN Security Council resolutions.

He also said that confidence building measures by Turkey would have a positive impact, noting that such a measure would be the return of the fenced-off area of Varosha in Famagusta to its legitimate inhabitants.

Photiou also said that certain Greek Cypriot proposals to the other side are in the process of being withdrawn, as they are deemed unacceptable by the majority of the people and the political leadership. However, he did not outline what these proposals were.

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