Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said the people will be the ones to judge the final outcome of the solution to the Cyprus problem, if and when it is achieved.
He also said they would be urged to decide in a responsible manner if the proposed solution meets their expectations and priorities.
Speaking in Athens during an event to mark Cyprus’ independence, Kasoulides said President Nicos Anastasiades would not, as he repeatedly stated, put before the people a solution that he does not believe satisfies their expectations.
He also said that the only thing that could be presented to the people was a complete solution proposal that responds to the concerns, expectations and hopes of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and could be implemented from ‘day one’.
“The status quo, cannot in any way, be a vision for the future our country and I am sure it was not the vision of those who gave their lives for our freedom,” he said.
“It is high time to put an end to the years of tension, insecurity and lead our country to a path of peace, security, stability and welfare. Time is a factor that unfortunately is working against us, and we need to rid ourselves of the occupation and Turkish troops and reunite our homeland”.
Kasoulides said negotiations were at a critical junction and said that if the upcoming meetings between Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci “yield the results we are anticipating, then we will be able to talk with more certainty about a positive outcome of this longstanding negotiating procedure”.
Even though the results of the negotiations allow for a cautious optimism, he said negotiations had not concluded.
Kasoulides said that sufficient progress has been achieved on the issues of governance, economy, the EU and although a lot of work has been done on the property issue, issues of fundamental significance are still pending.
He also said that the territorial issue and the issue of guarantees remain open, noting the “former is closely associated with the issue of property and is essential to achieve progress on this issue if we are to overcome the obstacles on the property issue”.
Kasoulides also said that security is the “most important element, in my opinion and will determine the successful conclusion of the negotiation. The issue concerns both communities that will be asked to live and prosper together in a modern, European state. Therefore the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cyprus should not be determined by third parties”,
Any system of guarantees agreed, should fully respect the concerns of both communities, said Kasoulides. He wondered why Turkish Cypriots insist on the system of guarantees put in place in 1960 and questioned whether it was a matter of insecurity or whether it served wider geostrategic Turkish plans.
Kasoulides also said that only Turkey wanted to maintain the system of guarantees and also questioned why the Turkish side appeared rushed when it came to holding a five-party conference with the guarantors.
He said that we have to take into serious consideration the issues that are still pending as well as the list of more than 100 issues that although have secondary significance, still need to be dealt with before a solution.
“Based on all this, I cannot comprehend the zeal of the Turkish Cypriots to proceed unprepared to a multilateral conference,” he said.
If such a conference were held prematurely, and failed, all efforts until now would be lost, he said.