President Nicos Anastasiades said that despite the disappointment felt by many about the deadlock in Switzerland last month, Cyprus could not become a protectorate of Turkey.
In his address on Saturday evening at the annual festival of Stroumbi village in Paphos, the president said he was willing to continue efforts to reunify the island but would not surrender it to Turkey.
“It is unthinkable that some believe Cyprus could become a protectorate of Turkey,” he said.
He refused to present Greek Cypriots with a solution he did not believe would be in their best interest.
“I am willing to compromise if I feel that our country is truly independent and sovereign and it is not controlled, and will not be controlled by Turkey, and that (a settlement) will serve the interests of Cypriots and not of any third country,” he said.
He added that it was within this framework he worked during the Conference on Cyprus that ended inconclusively early last month in Switzerland.
“I know that many have been disappointed by the results – so was I – but at the same time it was not possible – for the sake of any settlement – to return with a solution that would serve only those who wanted permanent military presence, permanent guarantor and intervention rights,” Anastasiades said. Such a thing, he said, would be contrary to the European principles and Cyprus’ status as a European country.
Everyone should contribute to the efforts to reunify the country, as long as the island was not surrendered to Turkey.
Meanwhile, member of the negotiating team and former foreign minister, Erato Kozakou Markoulli, predicted that the deadlock would continue for a while.
In an interview to Kathimerini published on Sunday, Markoulli refuted claims that the Greek Cypriot side was to blame for the collapse of talks. The Turkish Cypriot side as exhibited a “bulimic and greedy stance”.
The final say on the talks, she said, belonged to the UN Security Council, after the report of the UN Secretary-General on his good offices was published.
Anastasiades said last week that he would investigate the possibility of a new initiative for a Cyprus settlement during the UN General Assembly, next month in New York. In a recent interview, Anastasiades said the two sides were close to reaching a settlement deal in Switzerland but this was prevented by Turkey’s insistence on the permanent presence of 1,800 Turkish soldiers on the island.
A UN spokesman said last week that the parties in Cyprus were now in a period of reflection, while the UNSG would make a decision on the way forward in due course.