President Nicos Anastasiades set out to defend his handling of the talks in Crans-Montana again on Tuesday, saying that Turkey had not been willing to turn words into actions during the last stages of the Swiss negotiations.
Anastasiades, who has come under fire from various quarters since the talks broke down on July 6, was speaking during a ceremony at the presidential palace to receive the credentials of the new German ambassador Franz Josef Kremp.
“We deeply regret that Turkey’s unwillingness to negotiate within the framework set by the UN Secretary-General, and in particular Turkey’s intransigent stance on the key chapters of security and guarantees, and its insistence on maintaining guarantees, troops and intervention rights in reunited Cyprus, did not allow for positive outcome during the Conference on Cyprus in Crans Montana this past July”, Anastasiades said in his speech.
The Greek Cypriot side had submitted comprehensive proposals on all six issues identified by the UN chief, he said.
“Regrettably, the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot side submitted proposals, which are not only contrary to the ideas set by the UN, but which were a contravention of EU law, and the Charter of the United Natiοns,” he added.
On July 6, the Turkish side rejected the UN Secretary General’s prοposal to issue a press statement, which would have recorded, among other points, the parties’ commitment to abolishing the current system of security and guarantees, and the termination of right of intervention.
“Instead, the Turkish foreign minister repeated Turkey`s traditional positions on maintaining a system of security and guarantees, and a permanent presence of troops in reunited Cyprus,” Anastasiades said.
“Moreover, contrary tο the UN framework on territorial adjustments, Turkey steadfastly refused to address Greek Cypriot concerns. Ιt is indeed, deeply disappointing that at a critical point in the process, when Turkey was called to prove in a tangible manner its rhetoric that it is committed to a solution, it merely repeated its well-known unacceptable positions,” he added.
Speaking to the new ambassador, Anastasiades said Cyprus and its people look to Germany as a friend and as a valuable European partner, to which they are bound by a tradition of intense political, economic and cultural relations.
The ambassador, in his address, said that the division of Cyprus had endured far too long.
“We remain convinced that a settlement of the Cyprus problem within the UN framework, in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions and in line with the principles on which the European Union is founded is first and foremost in the interest of the Cypriot people but furthermore would benefit the region, Europe and global stability in general. The recent negotiation process has brought us closer to this goal than ever before,” Kremp said.
“Over the coming months and years essential decisions will have to be taken that will define how the European Union will look in the years to come. I am convinced that both our countries can contribute to this process to the benefit of the entire union and I will strive to increase our strong coordination in these efforts even more,” he added.
Kremp said Germany had supported the negotiation process from the beginning, including by sharing relevant experiences its own unification process and would continue to stand ready.