‘Resuming negotiations does not just depend on Greek Cypriots’

President Nikos Christodoulides on Tuesday briefed the National Council over his contacts in New York and his meeting with UN general-secretary Antonio Guterres, with Cyprus’ two largest parties emerging from the meeting calling for the importance of resuming negotiations.

Briefing reporters after the national council meeting, government spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis said that in New York, Christodoulides reiterated to Guterres “our readiness to have a mutual meeting with (Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin) Tatar in the presence of the UN secretary general.”

Asked to comment over the appointment of a UN envoy, Letymbiotis said the Greek Cypriot side was hoping for an appointment “as soon as possible so as to explore the possibility of resuming negotiations.”

Nonetheless, he sought to stress that resuming talks does not depend only on the Greek Cypriot side.

Commenting on the next steps forward, Letymbiotis noted the European Council will take place in December where Euro-Turkish matters will be discussed.

“The matters that Turkey ranks high in its priorities are immediately linked to the road of resuming negotiations and the path of these talks.”

Asked if an answer was expected from Tatar over the appointment of a UN envoy, Letymbiotis sidestepped the question saying the Greek Cypriot side had reiterated to Guterres that this would be a high-value move, reminding that this was the position all Security Council members adopted.”

According to the spokesman “the international community recognises our constructive stance” and that while in New York, Christodoulides sent “clear messages.” These were towards Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan as well as the international community.

He added that “our expectations can never be lowered, especially where the most important matter is concerned – our national issue.”

The goals of the president’s visit in New York were to stress the Greek Cypriots determination and focus on the talks, Letymbiotis noted.

“Resuming negotiations does not depend only on us,” however all diplomatic tools will be utilised, he stressed.

Commenting on recent statements by Erdogan over Azerbaijan recognising the north, Letymbiotis noted the relations between both countries are well known however Cyprus is taking all possible steps to avoid the outcome.

Akel’s general secretary Stefanos Stefanou said partition could never be something they would agree to however he highlighted energy matters, which are important to Turkey, could be used to instrumentalise a solution.

Disy party leader and House speaker Annita Demetriou highlighted it was important to remain focused on having a UN envoy, and ensure talks continue on the agreed framework of a bizonal, bicommunal solution with political equality.