Varosha is the guiding light to a solution, and if this light goes out Cyprus will hurtle towards division, independent presidential candidate Achilleas Demetriades said on Thursday.

Speaking at a news conference about the Cyprus problem and what he would do if elected, Demetriades said that he stood for the bizonal, bicommunal federation solution and that his negotiating team would be made up of only people that believed in that solution.

One third of his team he said would also be women.

“We want the Republic of Cyprus to evolve into a federation. We want political equality, as laid out in UN resolutions. We request that the occupying forces leave. We want intervention right and guarantees to end. We want, most importantly, the European acquis, the Europe to which we belong, together with fundamental rights, to be applied throughout the Republic of Cyprus,” he said.

His immediate goal, if elected, is for the return of the Turkish Cypriot side to the negotiating table, he said addressing the conference attended by his supporters, among them former foreign minister, Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, and Titina Loizidou, who has battled for the return of her property in Kyrenia at the ECHR.

He identified to key factors in achieving this goal, which are energy and the EU-Turkey relationship.

On hydrocarbons he said that at a technical committee on hydrocarbons should be established. There should also be committees for immigration, climate change, and green energy.

Citing the recent agreement between Israel and Lebanon on exclusive economic zone (EEZ) delimitation, he said Cyprus could also join in after a solution and natural gas could be transferred through Turkey.

On the EU-Turkey relationship, Demetriades said that the government faces a problem of distrust within the bloc, the UN and now in Strasbourg, where the 4th interstate appeal is also at risk.

“We must regain our lost credibility. Those who brought us this mess we are in today cannot be the ones who will get us out and move forward. They are part of the problem, we are part of the solution,” he said.

Commenting on Varosha, Demetriades said that Cyprus needs to demonstrate the violations of the UN resolutions 550 and 789 to international fora and increase the island’s efforts at the UN by contacting the security council on the issue, but at length and not just in ‘one page’.

“Let’s legally register the Greek Cypriots who claim their properties to prevent colonisation, to intensify the efforts of the city’s residents. The opening of Varosha was not just for show. Now Ayios Memnonas will also be opened. Where does it end?”

Commenting on the failure of the four independent candidates to put forward a single choice, Demetriades said that they have given a timeframe for the decision until the end of October, and that each of the big four independents will continue with their own programme.