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EU could be catalyst in restarting talks on the Cyprus problem, foreign minister says

Υπουργείο Εξωτερικών – Τελετή παρ
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Constantinos Kombos

A more institutionalised role for the EU on the Cyprus problem could prove to be a catalyst for the talks, Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos said on Thursday.

Speaking to the state broadcaster, he highlighted that although the EU was always present in talks on a technocratic level, “there was an observed absence on the political level.”

As a result, although the EU had a positive contribution on the talks, it did not have the degree of impact that it could, Kombos stressed.

“The technocratic presence of EU officials was not always allowed to be as constructive as it could be. Technical matters could have been resolved with the EU contribution’s if they were allowed to have the role they could.”

Kombos highlighted that although the EU has always been involved in the talks, what the government is seeking to do at the moment, is institutionalise that role and make it far stronger.

“On a technocratic level and political level, role of EU should be much stronger and will not undermine that of the UN. It will operate in parallel.”

So far, the EU has met the suggestion positively, seeking out more information over the proposal, the minister said.

He has discussed the matter with at least seven EU foreign ministers and five commissioners, who have shown significant interest over the matter, he added.

At the moment, the UN has still not appointed a special representative to Cyprus as the Turkish Cypriot side is refusing to cooperate on the matter, Kombos said.

“The EU could operate as catalyst over this and have a role not just in restarting talks but turning them to substantial results.

“We don’t want to sit at negotiating table and hear extreme views. We want to move forward.”

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