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Parties irked because Russia left out of talks

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Hardline parties blamed the government on Wednesday over Russia’s non-participation in last week’s Cyprus conference that was held in Geneva to discuss security and guarantees as part of reunification negotiations.

The chorus of disapproval was prompted by a statement made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday, suggesting that certain countries did not want Moscow’s involvement in the proceedings.

Lavrov reiterated his country’s position that the best option would be to have the Security Council act as guarantor of a united Cyprus and not just one, two, or three countries.

“Our Greek and Cypriot colleagues agreed with this,” Lavrov said. “In this respect, they expressed interest in having all five (USA, Russia, France, China, UK) permanent UN Security Council members take part in this conference, which will examine international aspects of the settlement process.”

The Russian diplomat suggested that other participants in the process did not want that format.

“… and this leads me to suspect that some of our partners hope to avoid a solution in which Cyprus’ security would be guaranteed by the UN Security Council rather than one, two or three countries,” he said.  “I do not think this is the right approach, but we are ready to support any agreements that the two Cypriot communities reach together.”

The fact that UNSC permanent members had not been invited was President Nicos Anastasiades’ fault, Diko said, because he had accepted convening a five-party conference without any conditions.

“President Anastasiades’ handling left out Russia, whose position in favour of Security Council guarantees … fulfilled the desire of the overwhelming majority of Greek Cypriots,” the party said in a written statement.

The unconditional surrender to Turkish demands also excluded France and China from the conference, two countries, which consistently favour the rights of the Republic, it added.

Edek decried the fact that Russia was left out, implying it was the work of the West.

“That is why Edek proposed that the Republic must submit a specific request to the UN, asking for the official presence of the five Security Council members and the European Union.”

The Solidarity Movement said Anastasiades’ handling of the national issue “leads Cyprus towards a solution that is fully compatible with the unacceptable Turkish claims.”

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