Restarting negotiations on the Cyprus problem from where they left off in Crans Montana and support for confidence building measures (CBMs) were the key message of Syriza leader Stefanos Kasselakis as he heads to the island on Tuesday.
“No divisive proposal can be the basis for negotiations,” the new leader of Greece’s leftist opposition party said, referring to Turkey’s and the north’s stance on the matter.
Kasselakis is due to visit the island later on Tuesday in his first trip abroad.
He also expressed his strong support for the appointment of a new UN envoy to Cyprus.
His party fully supports the Republic in its efforts towards this direction, he told the Cyprus News Agency in an interview prior to his arrival.
Kasselakis, a former Goldman Sachs associate and shipping entrepreneur, said that the party will push for a just and viable solution based on UN resolutions for a bicommunal and bizonal federation – without guarantees and foreign forces.
That, he said, is towards the benefit of all Cypriots – both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.
He further stated that “there must be pressure from the EU and our partners for Turkey to commit to dialogue with incentives and disincentives”. Within that context, he said it is important to link the Euro-Turkish framework under discussion to the Cyprus issue, specifically the negotiation for a revised customs union.
Moreover, he emphasised that furthering dialogue between Greece and Turkey is a positive development for the normalisation of ties between the two, but that negatives from the Cyprus problem will undermine those efforts.
Kasselakis explained that his first trip abroad is being made to Cyprus as “it is my duty” and highlights the importance of a solution, peace in the region and Europe as a whole.