Representatives of occupied communities on Tuesday got a pledge from President Nikos Christodoulides that he will redouble efforts to jumpstart stalled Cyprus peace talks.
A committee representing the occupied communities of Famagusta, Nicosia and Kyrenia met the president at the palace. Also present was Interior Minister Constantinos Ioannou.
The topics discussed included restarting Cyprus talks, the refugees’ loss of use of their property, the status of Turkish Cypriot properties in the south, and awareness campaigns drawing attention to the Cyprus issue.
Committee chair and Flamoudi community leader Michalis Jiortas said the meeting took place “in the shadow of the Turkish side’s latest provocations in Pyla, which worry the government”.
He added: “It is not the first time the Turkish side makes such provocations – be it about Famagusta, Trikomo, Karpasia and all other occupied areas. This time even the United Nations have sensed what difficulties they’re up against, and I think that we need diplomacy to restart talks on the Cyprus problem.”
Jiortas said they asked the president and the interior minister to speed up [legislative] proposals concerning the loss of use of property, “buttressing the good standing of refugees and creating a connection between refugees and the new generation with their occupied lands.”
On the new regulations being prepared by the government and relating to Turkish Cypriot properties in the south, the community leader said they eagerly await them.
Regarding the issue of raising awareness about the Cyprus issue and refugees, Jiortas said the occupied municipalities have participated in public events in collaboration with the ministry of education and the public broadcaster.
Asked what they heard from the president, he said Christodoulides informed them that in September he will have a meeting at the UN headquarters, followed by meetings with EU officials, aiming “to push for the restart of negotiations.”