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No new peace talks as things stand, says new foreign minister

Foreign Affairs Minister: Nicos Christodoulides

Peace talks aimed at reunifying the island cannot start under the current circumstances, new foreign minister Nicos Christodoulides said on Thursday.

During the course of his first interview since being appointed to the post of top diplomat, Christodoulides said Turkey’s actions in the eastern Mediterranean – using force to stop Cyprus from drilling for gas – demonstrate that Ankara at this time is not interested in efforts at solving the Cyprus problem.

Christodoulides told Sigma that the international community is as well aware of the situation in the eastern Mediterranean, adding that Cyprus continues to work diplomatically behind the scenes.

Responding to questions, the foreign minister dismissed the notion that Turkey has succeeded in creating a fait accompli in the seas around the island.

Cyprus’ failure to drill in offshore block 3 was merely a setback, he said, adding that the Republic would press ahead with its energy plans.

“Mr Erdogan behaves in this way not only against Cyprus, but also Syria, Iraq, the Europeans and the United States,” he said.

Asked about the ‘social dinner’ which president Nicos Anastasiades is seeking to have with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Christodoulides said the president wished to ‘explore the terrain’, adding that such a meeting could not be construed as negotiations.

Christodoulides is scheduled to carry out an official visit to Athens on Monday.

 

Over the coming period he also planned to visit a number of neighbouring countries, he added.

 

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