Groups and organisations from both sides of the divide called on Monday on the island’s two leaders to live up to the expectations of Cypriots and reconvene a negotiation process that would lead to an agreed solution.
The Bicommunal Peace Initiative – United Cyprus – that brings together more than 70 organisations working for peace and reunification – held a rally on Monday outside the entrance to the Nicosia airport ahead of the meeting between President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, their first since the collapse of the talks last summer.
Earlier in the day, a delegation of the group had a meeting with Elizabeth Spehar, the special representative of the UN secretary-general and delivered a message addressed to the two leaders with the request it be conveyed to them during the dinner.
The delegation thanked Spehar for her work and said they expected the two leaders would agree to resume the talks based on the framework of UNSG Antonio Guterres without any preconditions and with the aim to reach an agreement for the reunification of Cyprus.
The group warned the leaders that “we are now in a crisis that is far more dangerous than on previous occasions, with the risk of tension escalating to levels that may have unpredictable consequences”.
The hydrocarbons issue, it said, rather than a catalyst for peace was developing into a cause for renewed conflict.
The group stressed there was an urgent need to return to the negotiating table utilising the window of opportunity before any further drilling operations take place in the Cyprus exclusive economic zone.
“The bicommunal bizonal federation based on political equality continues to be the only viable solution for a peaceful future in a reunited Cyprus,” it said.
“Peace on our island is at stake. There is no time to waste. There is no other route! A reunited federal Cyprus is the only way to reconciliation and peace!” the group said.