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Anastasiades ‘not shifting the goalposts’ he says

The government is not shifting the goalposts as to the form of a reunified Cyprus state desired by the Greek Cypriot side, president Nicos Anastasiades said on Thursday.

“We are not making any concessions,” Anastasiades said when asked about the idea of a decentralised or “loose” federation that got much traction in the news this week following a meeting of the National Council.

“Rather, we are doing what must be done, and everyone must realise that if we truly seek a solution to the Cyprus problem, that solution must be a functional one.

“It needs to afford longevity to the state, it needs to provide certainty and security to all its citizens,” he added.

The president was speaking to the press on the sidelines of an event hosted by the Employers and Industrialists Federation.

Addressing the event, Anastasiades recalled a proposal he made in 2010 when he suggested that perhaps the Greek Cypriot side should consider a decentralised federation as a form of solution.

“That proposal, which at the time I submitted as food for thought, is not something new. But in order to achieve it, it cannot be that the security of one side comes at the expense of the other.

“That is why Cyprus must rid itself of outdated guarantees, the presence of occupying forces and particularly Turkey’s demands that Turkish nationals receive equal treatment with European nationals.”

At the same time, he added, “our Turkish Cypriot compatriots must understand that their insistence on having a say on all decisions of the central government cannot possibly lead to a functional state.”

Anastasiades reiterated his “determination” to re-engage in “productive talks” on the Cyprus issue, which have stalled since last July.

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