Outgoing president Nicos Anastasiades on Sunday claimed that he was handing over a Cyprus “better than the one he received”.

In an interview with ‘INSIDER’ magazine and in relation to the Cyprus issue, Anastasiades said that he did not leave any opportunity untapped, noting at the same time that “it was the determination of our side that led to Crans Montana”.

“I consider that I am handing over a Cyprus that is in a much better state than the one I received,” Anastasiades said.

In his interview, President Anastasiades made a brief review of the work of his ten-year administration, highlighting the steps taken in the economy, development projects and foreign policy.

He added that his government took measures to fight corruption and restore the Republic of Cyprus at an international level.

Anastasiades pointed out that the Cyprus problem remains an open wound and assured that he will continue to submit creative proposals to create conditions for a healthy dialogue, and stressed that Famagusta remains an integral part of the Cyprus solution.

Asked about the stagnation in the Cyprus conflict and whether this situation is due solely to Turkey’s intransigence or to mistakes by the Cypriot government, he said the Cypriot side did not leave “any opportunity unexploited”, pointing out that the government’s decisive stance “led the negotiation up to Crans Montana, where all the major issues concerning the Cyprus conflict were raised for the first time, with security as a priority”. He also recalled the readiness for the resumption of negotiations.

Asked if there would be any chance of a solution to the Cyprus problem if Famagusta is lost, Anastasiades said that “without a doubt, Famagusta is an integral part of the solution to the Cyprus problem and we will under no circumstances give up the effort and efforts to prevent any new achievements that Turkey seeks to impose in relation to the attempt to change the status of the enclosed city”.

At the same time he promised that he will pursue the solution of the Cyprus issue “to the end” and that he will continue to submit creative proposals, with the aim of reducing the gap between the two sides, and creating conditions for a healthy dialogue.

Meanwhile, on foreign policy, he emphasised developing stronger relations with the US and the lifting of the arms embargo. As he said, the participation of Cyprus in the EU has also been upgraded, including the defence and security institutions.

Regarding the energy sector and the significance of the EuroAsia Interconnector for Cyprus, he said that it is an emblematic project of great geopolitical, strategic and national importance.

He added that the project, which is expected to be put into operation in the first half of 2028, “will lead Cyprus on the path of a new energy era”.

As for the widespread criticism of the government’s corruption, Anastasiades brushed this off as an orchestrated effort through distortion of facts, falsehoods and whispers, aimed at discrediting him personally and undermining the work of the government.

In relation to the economy, he noted that the foundations for a resilient economy were laid through continuous diversification and modernisation of the country’s economic model. At the same time, he pointed out that the Cypriot economy continues its positive course with a growth rate for 2022 at 5.7 per cent.

“Foundations for a resilient economy were laid, through the continuous diversification and modernisation of our economic model and the successful implementation of targeted actions,” Anastasiades concluded.