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We aim at a successful informal conference so that talks can resume, Government Spokesman says

The goal of the Greek Cypriot side is for the informal conference on the Cyprus issue to have a successful outcome so that the talks can resume within the UN framework from where they were left in Crans Montana, Government Spokesman Kyriacos Koushos stressed on Wednesday, noting that the EU should be present at the informal conference, since its presence there will be helpful.

In statements to the press after the meeting of the Council of Ministers, Koushos recalled that on Tuesday, the President of the Republic briefed the members of the National Council on the developments regarding the  Cyprus issue, his recent contacts, such as his meeting with the Prime Minister of Greece, the teleconferences he held with the Chancellor of Germany and the President of France, but also his contacts with EU institutions, and the meeting he had with the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for the Cyprus issue.

He also informed his top advisory body on the Cyprus issue, about the intentions of the Greek Cypriot side in the informal conference on Cyprus that will take place late April in Geneva.

Koushos said that our goal is that the conference is crowned with success, so that talks can resume.

“We are interested in the continuation of the talks on the substance of the Cyprus issue”, he said and stressed that our intention is that there is a convergence so that we continue from the point we left in Crans Montana.

Stressing that a lot of work has been done that can not be deleted or ignored, he recalled that there are convergences, the High Level Agreements, the meeting in Berlin in November 2019. He added that we will try to continue the talks from where they were left and in the context of the UN resolutions and decisions that determine the form of the solution.

Koushos pointed out that the Greek Cypriot side wants the EU to be present at the conference, noting that the Cypriot President is working towards this direction. Cyprus, he said, is an EU member state and will continue to be after the solution of the problem. “We believe that we will be able to find a solution to the issue so that we can proceed further to the substance,” he said.

Asked about the EU role in the informal five-party conference, Koushos said that the President of the Republic strongly believes that the EU presence will be helpful and will manage to address the concerns of both sides.

“The principles and values of the EU are what guarantee stability” he said, adding that the UN must be convinced to invite the EU, which, as he said, has the intention to be present at the conference. “We hope that in the end we will succeed,” he noted.

Asked whether the convergence that the Greek Cypriot side will seek concerns the form of a solution or to give the green light to start a preparatory process that will lead to the resumption of talks, the Spokesman said that this is an issue that will be decided by the UN Secretary General himself.

What is of importance, he said, is to find those convergences to allow the UN Secretary General to convene the conference on the settlement of the Cyprus problem, the discussion on the substance of the problem.

Koushos said that what is also of importance, is that the UNSG has stated that the terms of his mandate derive from the UN Security Council resolutions and that each side can put anything on the table, but without changing the terms of the mandate, he can do nothing but offer his good services in the same way he did in Crans Montana.

The Greek Cypriot side, he added, will go to the informal conference with the UN resolutions and decisions as the basis of the solution. He stressed that the President of the Republic has both the political will and the readiness to enter into a creative, productive discussion so that those convergences can be found that will allow us to proceed to the substance of the solution of the Cyprus problem.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana, ended inconclusively. The  informal conference on Cyprus will take place 27-29 of April in Geneva.


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