Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis has said that a solution to the Cyprus issue is of vital significance as the Eastern Mediterranean was currently plagued by instability and uncertainty.
Addressing students of the Law School of the European University of Cyprus, on Tuesday night, Mavroyiannis said that given the complexity of the region, “to survive, we must manage to find a specific course that will allow us to solve our national problem”.
He said the aim was to solve the Cyprus problem in such way that would rid the island of the Turkish army. “Last summer during the negotiations in Crans-Montana we ascertained that we are back to square one, just like 50 years ago because Turkey’s fundamental claim remains as far as the issue of security is concerned,” said Mavroyiannis.
Turkey wanted to have control over Cyprus and for this reason the political problem has not been solved yet, he added. “There hasn’t been a single shift from its main pursuit to maintain the control that it believes it has over Cyprus.”
He said that although for the first time discussions came very close, the issue of the abolition of guarantees and intervention rights did not progress at all.
As regards energy, Mavroyiannis said that the EU wants to safeguard its energy security as far as the origin of the natural gas is concerned and also as to which route it will take to reach Europe.
Turkey could not offer energy security, even though it seems to be the most economic option for the transport of natural gas to Europe.
If the EU funds the infrastructure for a pipeline through Greece, then it would become viable and companies would be interested, he added.
However, in an effort to upgrade its influence in the region, Turkey wants the pipeline to pass through its territory, averting any plans for the pipeline to run through Greece, Mavroyiannis said.
“At the same time, Turkey is implementing a steady approach, something that was evident at the Varna meeting, which indicates it wants to leave open as many options as it can,” he added.
Mavroyiannis said that Turkey could have had a role in the Eastern Mediterranean with a solution to the Cyprus problem, however, at the moment, it is unwilling to cooperate or strengthen its own interests.