President Nicos Anastasiades on Tuesday hit back at accusations, particularly from Akel, which has supported him at the Cyprus talks, that he was now putting re-election above a solution.
Anastasiades was addressing the 54th congress of public service union workers Pasydy in Nicosia where he gave a rundown on the negotiations.
“Although progress has been observed in the talks, there remain nevertheless problems that touch on functionality and human rights, which create, rather than stability for the future, raise concerns about the ability of the state to survive the day after,” he said.
“With all due respect to the other community, I call on them, and especially on Turkey, to understand that it is not only them who have concerns or who would like to feel secure in their rights. ”
It was Greek Cypriots who were the victims of an invasion, lost their properties, and who were missing and dead as a result.
“We want to have the Turkish Cypriots as our compatriots but I cannot, in the name of the solution have conditions that are not balanced.”
This, he said, should be understood by all, especially “those who judge and criticise” saying he makes concessions, or others “who now say that I don’t want a solution because supposedly I am looking to the presidential elections.”
Anastasiades said he had shown time and again his determination for a solution, agreeing to the Mont Pelerin talks where even maps were exchanged, and also agreeing to the Geneva meeting on security and guarantees.
Despite the difficulties, and the actions of Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci in walking away from the talks over parliament’s Enosis vote, and Turkey’s threats over planned drilling in the island’s exclusive economic zone, Anastasiades said he was still engaged, even though some “call on me to disregard the fact that the territorial integrity of the Republic is being violated rather than them condemning the illegal actions of the occupying power”.
He would not allow anyone to attribute any failure of responsibility to the Greek Cypriot side, he concluded.
“At the same time, I am not at the table just to prevent blame being apportioned but as part of my stated my determination to pursue reunification, to seek the withdrawal of the occupation army, to create a modern European state that guarantees the rights of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, not rooted in injustice but the European acquis, so that we can have hope for the future.”