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New cross-party political initiative says there is still hope for a federal solution

Former attorney-general Alecos Markides

There is still a positive prospect for a settlement said the new initiative ‘Decision for Peace’ which launched its operations on Wednesday.

The group, consisting of veteran politicians and academicians, said it wants to help promote the reunification of the island based on a bizonal bicommunal federation (BBF).

During a press conference, members of the Decision for Peace initiative said they aim to enrich the public debate with a number of common findings formulated “through extensive and constructive dialogue between active citizens, party executives and politicians who come from different backgrounds and maintain different political and ideological approaches”.

“The solution of the Cyprus problem will not be the end, but it will mark the beginning of a new era of peace and cooperation, where the country will grow and the people will prosper in a modern environment of normality and creativity,” the group said in its declaration.

Former MP and attorney-general Alecos Markides, said during the press conference that it was clear, for instance, that there is no proper information on the workings of the system of governance “we have been going for since 1977 when it was agreed.”

The cross-party group includes former foreign minister and Disy MP Ioannis Kasoulides and an Akel MP and finance minister Kikis Kazamias.

Markides said there is consensus that the points of negotiation will be the February 2014 Joint Declaration, the convergences reached up to Crans Montana and the Guterres Framework, which in addition to the points regarding the internal structure of the federal state also refers to the key issues of security and guarantees.

“Therefore, it is not beneficial to theoretically discuss the BBF and to add different content to it. Things now are advanced and what we have to judge is not theoretical, but in practice what this system will be in view of these documents and convergences,” he said.

The group said the escalating provocations by Turkey should not be an excuse for cementing the status quo.

“Turkey, both on the issue of gas and on the issue of Varosha, creates new balances at the expense of the Republic of Cyprus that can only be reversed through a resolute and successful negotiation process for the solution of the Cyprus problem,” the resolution said.

A BBF is the most suitable basis for negotiations, the group said, since it would allow the two communities to cooperate at federal level and jointly handle the entire Cypriot nation.

The group believes that based on the negotiations that preceded and the points on which convergences have been reached “the prospect of a positive outcome is realistic and possible”.

The initiative called among other things for cooperation between all political forces that support a BBF solution and for transparency and “honest information of the political leadership and society on the progress of the talks”.

Former finance minister Kikis Kazamias said that there was no other way for financial survival and a prosperous future than resolving the Cyprus issue.

 

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