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Ex-Disy leader says president’s focus on EU role in talks is wrong

Συνέντευξη στο ΚΥΠΕ υποψήφιος Αβέρωφ Νεοφύτου
Ex-Disy leader Averof Neophytou

Former Disy leader Averof Neophytou questioned President Nikos Christodoulides handling of the Cyprus problem on Wednesday by focusing all his efforts on securing the so called more active involvement of the EU.

Neophytou called this wrong, saying he believed the president’s efforts to secure a resumption of the talks had to be directed at the UN secretary-general.

“We must knock on the door of the secretary-general of the UN and persuade him with positions of substance about the resumption of talks,” Neophytou said in a written statement. “Since 2018, after the departure of Espen Barth Eide, the UNSG has still not appointed a special advisor on Cyprus.”

There was no doubt in the mind of Neophytou, a defeated candidate in the last presidential elections, that Christodoulides was barking up the wrong tree.

“The vehicle of a settlement needs a driver – the co-driver, even if we succeeded in having a European, as good as he/she might be, is not enough,” he said.

Neophytou said every Cypriot would like to see the discussions on EU-Turkey relations being linked to the Cyprus problem, but saw this as wishful thinking.

“The day after the unacceptable statements in the occupied area by (Turkish President Tayyip) Erdogan, who rejects the agreed framework (for talks) we need much more than wishful thinking and pleasant-sounding comments.”

He also took a swipe at Christodoulides’ vague proposals.

“What are needed are specific, dynamic initiatives, such as the inclusion in the agenda of energy and regional security,” said Neophytou, who has always argued that natural gas could be a catalyst for a Cyprus settlement.

Christodoulides addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday, explaining his vision for a more active involvement of the EU in in the Cyprus problem and its incorporation in discussions on EU-Turkey relations. He also said he would like to be the “settlement president”.


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