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Turkish side not responding to efforts to resume talks

The Turkish side is not responding to efforts to lift the deadlock and proceed with the resumption of settlement talks, Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou said overnight Saturday, querying whether the Turkish demand for a positive vote on all decisions is a sign of political equality or political inequality.

Photiou was addressing the Conference of the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations in New York in the presence of Archbishop Demetrios of America, Cypriot and Greek diplomats and President of Solidarity Eleni Theocharous.

He also announced that the term ‘Overseas Cypriots’ will be replaced with ‘Diaspora’ in the next Conference of the World Federation of Overseas Cypriots (Pomak).

Speaking about Cyprus developments, Photiou reiterated the readiness of President Nicos Anastasiades to continue the dialogue from the point it was left off at Crans Montana during the 2017 the Conference of Cyprus.

What should worry us all, he said, is the clear intention of the Turkish side seeking to control all of Cyprus in order to serve its own interests in the region and beyond.

The Presidential Commissioner also briefed participants about the President’s positions and the deliberations taking place with the UN Secretary-General’s envoy Jane Holl Lute aiming to formulate the terms of reference that will pave the way for the resumption of settlement talks.

He said the President reiterated that he accepts the political equality of the two sides and the notion for an effective participation of the Turkish Cypriots in the administration, as well as the positive vote, when circumstances allow for a positive vote to be cast in a way that any decision of state institutions does not adversely affect the interests of the Turkish Cypriot side.

During his speech, Photiou also referred to the drafting of Cyprus’ National Security Strategy, noting that Overseas Cypriots and the diaspora are an integral part of it. He briefed finally conference participants about the humanitarian problem of missing persons and the action plan the Cabinet is discussing, in an effort to increase diplomatic activity and raise awareness, also in the United States.

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