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Foreign minister speaks about efforts to resume talks

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Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos

Nicosia has to convince the European Union and rest of the world of its readiness to resume Cyprus problem negotiations, Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos said on Sunday.

The minister referred to the efforts of the government to resume the talks in an interview with Phileleftheros newspaper, cited by the Cyprus News Agency.

It is impossible to continue with the current situation, he said, noting that “the status quo is a fictitious situation which is constantly moving towards the negative, so this is not an option.”

“We have to convince, and this is what we are trying to do, not only to our partners in the EU, but more broadly, that we are ready to return to substantive talks from where they stopped in Crans-Montana.

“We are the only ones at the moment who actually have something to propose,” the foreign minister said, adding that the government is expecting a move now from the Turkish Cypriot side.

He noted that the initiative to activate the EU to act as a catalyst for the return of the TC side to the table has generated interest and there is a positive response. President Nikos Christodoulides recently presented his proposal at the European Council summit in Brussels.

Asked by the newspaper how exactly the EU will become more actively involved, the foreign minister referred to two interconnected pillars.

“On the one hand, there is a need for a political presence, which will be the one that will in the first instance give the impetus to restart the negotiations; on the other hand, it is about the Union’s technical presence, which should be much stronger and more substantial than it has been in the past,” he said.

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