Those who are opposed to the course of the current Cyprus negotiations despite a common goal set out at the National Council in September 2009, need to reflect on ‘what next?” President Nicos Anastasiades said on Sunday.
Speaking at an EOKA memorial event in Chlorakas in Paphos, Anastasiades said: “What will be the consequences of non-solution. What will be the consequences if the occupying army remains or continues the colonisation of the occupied areas.”
“Our obligation is to reverse this situation and it is in this direction that we are working,” he added.
Anastasiades said for the first time the EU factor has been incorporated in the talks and that the “European factor” that forms the foundation of the values ”on which we seek to build a bizonal bicommunal federation – the solution of the Cyprus problem” was the most important new factor.
He said though the Turkish Cypriot side is seeking derogations from the EU acquis, they do not deny that there needed to be certain basic principles to a settlement, he said.
“Our task is to fight the battle to achieve that which is precisely the EU’s fundamental pillars: the protection of human rights and basic freedoms of EU principles and values, to create conditions that allow us to live in peace and co-create, and to look forward to the future with optimism,” he said.
“We want something that embraces the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, and does not ignore the concerns of either,” he added. “What we seek is an honourable peace.”
In an interview in Phileleftheros published on Sunday, UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide was quoted as saying he remained optimistic and said it was natural that there was some tension and frustration in the negotiations.
Eide stood by comments he made last week that there was no time frame for a settlement, the paper said, though he repeated that the stars were aligned for a solution in the sense that this is the best opportunity that has come along in many years.
‘But I say firmly to everyone that there are no timetables,” Eide said. “Both leaders tell me that there is no time to waste and I agree with them because this momentum will not last forever, but we have no timetable and it is not true that I said all that. The point is that a good solution is better than a quick fix, but if you are good and fast at the same time, even better. The sooner the better.”
Eide also spoke of the intensification of the process as of next month where the leaders would begin to create strategic compromises that are necessary for the future on the big issues – property, territory and security.
He said there would be opposition from those who don’t want a solution, who don’t want to compromise, but if there is basic trust, understanding and willingness it could be achieved.
“We want to find a solution that is fully compatible with the basic values and principles of the EU and international human rights. There are compromises to be made in order to allow for bizonality and bicommunality but these should never be done at the expense of the rights of individuals,” said Eide.
The issue of securing international funding was also ongoing, Eide said but there was still some way to go. In some cases pledges were closer than in others, he added.
Also in an interview in Phileleftheros on Sunday, Greek Foreign Minister Nicos Kotzias said there could be no Cyprus solution without abolishing guarantees.
In the interview ahead of a three-day visit to Cyprus beginning on Monday, Kotzias said China and Russia – permanent members of the UN Security Council along with the UK, US and France – understood this. Britain, he said, already a guarantor power for Cyprus, with Turkey and Greece, would not insist on guarantees.
“Ankara knows here can be no genuine solution of the Cyprus problem by maintaining the system of guarantees,” he said in his interview.
He also rejected any notion of derogations from the EU acquis that would facilitate majorities of people or property in the north of the island as sought by the Turkish side.