Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Christodoulides has said that a meeting between President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci is scheduled to take place before the middle of August.
The Minister was speaking on behalf of President Anastasiades during an event that took place on Saturday at the Presidential Palace on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the 1974 coup against the then President of Cyprus Archbishop Makarios III and the Turkish invasion that followed on 20 July.
The President of the Republic, said Christodoulides, “has publicly stated his readiness to meet with the Turkish Cypriot leader, a meeting that is scheduled to take place before the middle of August, either privately or in the presence of Mrs Lute, (the UNSG's special envoy for Cyprus) to discuss the conditions under which an informal, procedural conference in the same format as the Crans Montana conference would be convened, hoping that such an informal conference, properly prepared, will lead to the resumption of substantial talks”.
The Minister noted that in order for the talks to resume, Turkey must actively contribute to establishing a proper climate by terminating its illegal actions in Cyprus’ territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone/continental shelf, as well as it plans to create new fait accompli.
Referring to the anniversary, the Minister said that 45 years have passed, but the people of Cyprus have not compromised, have not given up and have not forgotten.
The tragic consequences of the Turkish invasion and occupation constitute a concrete proof of Turkey’s unbearable responsibilities vis-à-vis Cyprus as well as the international community, he added.
Despite Ankara’s provocations, with devotion and determination and by utilizing every means at our disposal, said the Minister, “we make genuine and intensive efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem, aiming for a functional and viable solution”.
A bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, in line with the relevant decisions of the United Nations, the principles and the values of the European Union and the acquis communautaire, he said. A solution that will truly reunify Cyprus and render it a modern, functional and effective European state, with a single sovereignty, a single international personality and a single citizenship.
The Minister noted that our sincere will is for the current unacceptable conditions of destabilization and threats to be terminated and for the talks to resume from the point they stopped in Crans Montana, without losing time, with a view to achieve a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem that will ensure conditions of peace and security for all Cypriots, and a functional and independent state.
There is no room for guarantees or foreign armies in this member state of the EU where the reunified state will continue to belong, but only for implementation of human rights, international law and the European principles and values for all the citizens, said Christodoulides.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The last round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.