The Cyprus issue was the focus of the meeting between Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and the UK Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan, at the Foreign Office on Thursday.
The two ministers discussed the prospect of stalled talks between the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities resuming; the importance that Greek Cypriots attribute to reaching a satisfactory settlement on security for a future reunified Cyprus; and the recent demand by Turkey for the four fundamental EU freedoms to be enjoyed by its nationals in Cyprus.
Speaking after the meeting, Kasoulides said the talks had been temporarily suspended. He explained to Sir Alan that “the temporary suspension was a storm in teacup and that the reasons were not reasons that would not allow the meetings to resume.”
“We also discussed the unthinkable burden on the talks suddenly imposed by this demand for the four fundamental freedoms for Turkish citizens. We are working for the benefit of the Cypriots, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots; for a state of our own which will be working for the interests of our people. We feel no obligation whatsoever to seek ways of satisfying third parties’ interests,” he said.
In a message on Twitter Sir Alan Duncan commented that “with continued commitment and political will, an historic solution to the Cyprus problem is possible. Great talks with Cypriot FM Kasoulides.”