AKEL general-secretary Andros Kyprianou said on Sunday his meetings in Istanbul last weekend with members of the Turkish leadership should not be dismissed out of hand as not being useful to the talks process.
In an address to Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot young people at an annual gathering in Troodos organised by AKEL’s youth wing EDON, Kyprianou said if there was anyone who could help pave the way toward reunification, it was the island’s youth.
“We ask nothing more than a solution based on the principles and values of international and European law that safeguard the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots.,” he said. “Any other choice, in whatever guise, will lead to permanent partition.”
Referring to his trip to Turkey, for which he was heavily criticised by the rejectionist parties, Kyprianou said these were the same people that had long insisted that the Cyprus solution lay in Turkey.
“Then they were angered because we talked with Turkish officials. For us it is clear that yes, we need to talk, and we must exploit all possibilities in order to take steps forward in the negotiations process,” he said.
“Meetings such as these help create a positive climate. It does not mean that Turkey is exempt from its responsibilities and it would be naive to believe that the Cyprus problem will be solved by such encounters.”
He added that the honesty and willingness of Turkey to help push forward a solution would ultimately have to be proved at the negotiating table.
“There is now a momentum, although we still have difficult and long road ahead,” Kyprianou said, adding that he hoped everyone involved could rise to the occasion.