Cyprus Mail

Nicosia ‘cautiously optimistic’ ahead of informal conference (Update 2)

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres During Interview With Reuters At U.n. Headquarters In New York
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

Nicosia is cautiously optimistic ahead of an informal conference on Cyprus, government spokesman Kyriacos Koushos said, reiterating that Greek Cypriots rejected a two-state system as a solution, which is favoured by Turkey.

“At this stage there is nothing more we could say,” he said. “We are just waiting for an official announcement from the United Nations.”

Koushos told CNA that most likely within the coming week, an official announcement is expected to be made by the United Nations on the matter.

The Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities and the three guarantor powers – Greece, Turkey, and Britain – are expected to meet under the UN auspices in the first half of April to try and hammer out an agreement on restarting reunification talks.

Talks between the two communities collapsed in the summer of 2017. Since then, Turkey has been touting a two-state solution, suggesting it was President Nicos Anastasiades’ belief also.

The spokesman said Greek Cypriots supported a solution based on the resolutions and the decisions of the United Nations and the Security Council.

“Only recently, in the process to renew Unficyp`s mandate, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2561, which reconfirmed resolution 1251, on the solution of the Cyprus problem,” which should be based on a bicommunal, bizonal, federal system.

The UN Secretary General, Koushos said, “has and derives his mandate from the UN Security Council resolutions.”

“Since, Security Council resolutions define the model and the basis of the Cyprus problem solution, we expect that the Secretary General will operate within the remit of his mandate,” he said.

Let us hope, he added, “that we will go the informal five-party conference precisely to define officially the positions of the two sides.”

“There is a cautious optimism that the informal five-party conference will have some outcomes, so that the UN Secretary General can be encouraged to go ahead and take the next key step which will be the negotiation for a solution of the Cyprus problem, a solution which must be just, functional and therefore viable, without anachronistic guaranties or the presence of foreign troops,” he said.

Russia, meanwhile, said imposing a settlement on Cypriots would be unacceptable.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova expressed Moscow’s support for UN resolutions, providing for a bizonal bicommunal federation. Any change in the basic parameters must be reviewed by the UN Security Council, she added.

Speaking during a briefing on Thursday, Zakharova said Russia supported the efforts of the international community to achieve a fair, viable and comprehensive solution to the Cyprus issue.

“However, as we have said many times, there should be no pressure on either party. It is unacceptable to impose a blueprint on them for a settlement from the outside or strict deadlines.”


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