A new initiative needs to be undertaken so as to avoid the mistakes of the past when it comes to negotiations on the Cyprus problem, President Nicos Anastasiades told UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during their meeting on Friday.
Speaking to reporters after the 10 minute meeting which took place in New York, Anastasiades said it had been a very constructive conversation that discussed how efforts to find a solution could continue.
“I expressed the readiness on our part to continue the efforts of resolving the Cyprus problem on the basis of the parameters Mr. Guterres presented in Crans Montana without ignoring relevant UN resolutions and the principles and values of the EU, with the aim to create a sustainable, functional and normal state.”
Anastasiades said he had told Guterres a solution should be financially and politically viable, functional and lasting and that the UN security council members as well as Guterres himself could have a critical role in preparing for a new initiative that could help avoid the mistakes of the past.
After the collapse of the talks in Crans Montana, a series of confidence-building measures would be beneficial to improving the climate, such as the return of Varosha to its legal residents and clearing the issue of missing persons, he said.
“I stressed that is necessary for the Turkish side to clarify if, firstly, it adopts everything outlined in UN resolutions as a basis for a solution, and secondly, but equally importantly, the extent to which it accepts the positions of principle as outlined by the secretary general.”
Anastasiades condemned the decision announced by the Turkish Cypriot side earlier in the day to charge customs duties on aid to Greek Cypriots in the north and said he was positive after the meeting with Guterres that there would not be any change in Unficyp’s presence on the island.
Anastasiades said he reiterated to Guterres that nothing is considered agreed unless everything is agreed.
“The proposals I submitted in Crans Montana do not apply as Turkey insists on maintaining the Treaty of Guarantees, intervention rights and a permanent presence of a Turkish army in Cyprus.”
The Cyprus problem does not seem to be a priority for Turkey right now and thus “any thoughts of a plan B are postponed.”
The two also discussed the report being prepared by the UN good offices to be presented to the UN security council.
Anastasiades said he will be briefing members of the national council next week on developments during his visit in New York.
Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci was set to meet Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu at 1:30am Cyprus time (6:30pm in New York) on Saturday to evaluate the next steps to be taken after the collapse of the talks in Crans Montana.
Following Anastasiades’ meeting with Guterres, he had a working lunch with the members of the UN security council.
Cyprus’ delegation met earlier in the day with UN Under-Secretary-General for political affairs, Jeffrey Feltman while Anastasiades had a chance to discuss with US Vice President Mike Pence, the difficulties in finding a solution to the decades old Cyprus problem and the help the island was expecting from the US to help resolve it.
“Mr. Prence expressed his satisfaction in the determination we show and highlighted the USA’s commitment to help find a solution.”
Anastasiades also met with British PM Theresa May and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov who extended an invitation to visit Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, mid-October and discussed how to further already excellent relations between the two countries.
He also met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el Sisi.