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Christodoulides reiterates two-state solution not up for discussion

Íåïåêëåãåßò ÐôÄ Åéäéêüò Áíôéðñüóùðïò ÃÃ ôïõ ÏÇÅ óôçí Êýðñï Êüëéí Óôéïýáñô

President-elect Nikos Christodoulides reiterated on Tuesday that a two-state solution is not up for discussion.

His comments on the Cyprus problem were made to UN Special Representative and Unficyp chief Colin Stewart during a 50-minute meeting between the two.

The UN official is set to also meet Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, either on Tuesday or Wednesday, ahead of an unofficial Christodoulides-Tatar meeting on Thursday.

That meeting is set to take place at 11am at Stewart’s residence near the old Nicosia airport.

Christodoulides told Stewart that he will stress to Tatar that the status quo is not a solution, and neither is it in the interests of either community, according to sources quoted by the Cyprus News Agency.

The former foreign minister said that it is important for the UN to send a clear message that anything other than a bizonal, bicommunal solution is not an option.

He said he is ready to immediately begin negotiations from the point at which they broke down in Crans Montana.

Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leader Tatar have repeatedly stated that discussions on such a basis are now over.

The president-elect also vowed to refrain from engaging in negative rhetoric in public statements.

Christodoulides repeated his call for the EU to take a more prominent role in efforts to resume official Cyprus problem negotiations. However, Turkey typically views the EU as biased in favour of the Greek Cypriots.

But Christodoulides believes that the bloc can provide the necessary incentives to create a win-win situation.

CNA said during the meeting Stewart welcomed the proposal for the EU to take on a bigger role under the auspices of the UN. He emphasised that the UN supports a bizonal, bicommunal solution in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions.

Stewart noted, however, that he expects it will be difficult to bring the Turkish side to the negotiating table and work is needed to build trust.

Christodoulides also told Stewart he wanted to build a personal relationship with Tatar, while the Unficyp chief said he hoped this first meeting would set the stage for a second meeting.

Over the weekend Tatar said regardless of what is said in pre-election campaigns, the Greek Cypriot side, no matter who is in office, has one goal and that is the promotion of the sovereignty of Cyprus above all else.

As far as his meeting with Christodoulides was concerned, he said he had no problem having a coffee informally and if “the other side accepts our sensitivities, our red lines, our sovereign equality, formal negotiations can always begin”.

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