PRESIDENT Nicos Anastasiades told the UN General Assembly on Thursday that the current status quo in Cyprus was unacceptable and the longer it went on, the more negative consequences it would have for both sides.
Addressing the UN General Assembly for the first time, Anastasiades said a comprehensive settlement should not be delayed further.
He urged Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots to demonstrate determination and commitment and welcomed Ankara’s decision to accept his proposal for meetings with the negotiator of the Greek Cypriot community.
The President said he was “not a romantic ideologist” but a pragmatic realist who acknowledges that in this imperfect world it is extremely difficult, even unattainable, to expect the full and unquestioning implementation of the UN principles and values”.
What was important, he noted, was to decisively enhance the UN’s role and safeguard the effectiveness of its decisions, as well as its actions.
“An example is my own country, a small European country, which has, for almost 40 years, been violently divided, despite numerous UN Security Council Resolutions which call for its re-unification and the withdrawal of the occupation forces,” said Anastasiades.
“I am committed to work tirelessly and with determination in reaching a viable and lasting settlement, in order for all the communities of Cyprus to live and thrive in a modern European country, fully respecting the values and principles of the UN and the EU, safeguarding the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all its people and ensuring their peaceful co-existence and prosperous collaboration.”
He said he had already conveyed to the UN Secretary-General his firm belief that the current status quo was unacceptable. “Thus, a comprehensive settlement is not only desirable, but should not be further delayed,” he said.
“I wish as a leader with a sincere vision of reuniting my country, to once more call on Turkey and our Turkish Cypriot compatriots to demonstrate the same determination and commitment and become partners in the effort for the reunification of a peaceful, secure and prosperous homeland”.
Anastasiades said it was his strong belief that it was of paramount importance for a dynamic impetus to be injected, either before or even during the negotiating process, in order to restore the confidence of the people of Cyprus to the prospect of reaching a settlement”.
This could only be achieved through the adoption of bold measures “which are considered as game changers”.
He cited the package proposal that he had already submitted which includes the return of the ghost city of Famagusta to its lawful inhabitants.
“The return of Famagusta, despite the evident advantage of reviving the hope of the people of Cyprus will also provide benefits,” he said.
“The infrastructural restoration of a city which has been uninhabited for 39 years will undoubtedly lead to the creation of new jobs in a wide variety of professional fields, providing a major boost to the economy of the country.”
Anastasiades said he considered pivotal, before the start of the negotiating process, to establish clearly that the basis and the solution to be reached will adhere to the relevant UN resolutions, the High Level Agreements and the evolving transformation of the Republic of Cyprus in a bi-zonal, bi-communal Federal State, with a single international personality, single sovereignty and single citizenship.
Moreover, the settlement must embody “our capacity as an EU member state and fully enshrine its values and principles, through enhancing the role of the EU in the negotiating process,” he added. (CNA)