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Cyprus Talks

Nicosia expects momentum on Cyprus talks after Greek elections

Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides: government had no choice but to file unilaterally

Nicosia’s assessment is that, based on contacts with the UN, after the Greek elections, a new impetus will be given to the attempt to resume Cyprus talks, Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides said in an interview with Kathimerini on Sunday.

According to the Cyprus News Agency, the minister said the ideas for a resumption of talks put forward by President Nicos Anastasiades to the UN, aim at resolving issues of disagreement and do not go beyond the framework of a bizonal bicommunal federation.

“Any effort to get out of this solution framework will be the most negative for the prospects of our country’s reunification,” Christodoulides was quoted as saying.

“So the president’s ideas, such as a parliamentary system of government, are to investigate how the disagreements at the negotiating table can be resolved and the process moved forward.”

At the same time, Christodoulides noted that if they did not want the Cyprus problem solved, he would just say so. “It’s simple to say no. The point is to create the conditions to be able to say yes and that’s the hard part,” he added.
Christodoulides also referred to the ongoing debate in the EU as regards Turkish activities in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone and what measures could be taken against Ankara.

“We are now in the process of drafting the options, and the member states will decide by choosing the appropriate measures,” he said.

He said the options would likely be scaled depending on developments, and implementation would be gradual “since the goal is not the perpetuation of the measures, but the measures are to stop the illegal actions and create the conditions for resuming the talks.”

On the proposals regarding the fenced-off city of Varosha in Famagusta put forward by Turkish Cypriot ‘foreign minister’, Kudret Ozersay, Christodoulides said the latter was just aiming to kick-start his 2020 election bid against Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

“At the same time, I believe that the ‘crisis’ caused by the Famagusta issue could, under certain conditions, serve as an opportunity. If, then, there is a positive response from Mr Akinci to the President’s proposal to set up a technical committee for Famagusta, which I personally think should consist of both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriots from Varosha, who can prepare a study on the rebuilding of the city. This would be the best message to send, not only to Mr Ozersay, but also to those who do not want a solution to the Cyprus problem or are thinking of a solution beyond a bizonal, bicommunal federation,” he said.

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