Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has said that he expects that a “stick approach” should be adopted towards Turkey that will allow for the country to be assessed on her consistency in refraining from provocative actions ahead of an EU Summit which convenes via a videoconference between 25-26 March. Speaking to the press Monday the President also said that the EUCO adopts his ideas.
Referring to the upcoming informal meeting on Cyprus to take place in Geneva end of April the President expressed his hope for Turkey to show genuinely good will, to change her orientation and stance so that we can agree on a common ground that will lead to a viable and functional solution.
Invited to say his approach on political equality at the negotiations, President Anastasiades said that the Greek Cypriot side has accepted political equality since 1991 and this was reconfirmed during the Crans Montana Conference in the summer of 2017 and it is also included in the UN Security Council Resolution 716. Therefore, he noted, it is not a matter of accepting something that I have already accepted, as some ask me to do.
Replying to another question he said that the EU will be present at the Geneva meeting as the informal meeting is about a European state that is and will remain an EU state. Hence, he added, the EU is interested about the solution and wants it to be a functional one so that the EU as a whole is functional.
The President said that our aim at the European Council is to have both benefits but also a stick approach that will allow for Turkey to be assessed on her consistency in refraining from provocative actions.
He also said that UNSG Special Envoy Jane Hall Lute is expected to visit Cyprus again beginning of April.
Ar regards a barbed wire placed along parts of the buffer zone near Astromeritis village to deter the uncontrolled crossing by irregular migrants, the President noted that this barbed wire does not constitute the delineation of the island`s borders.
He spoke of a strategy on behalf of Turkey adding that the worst and most dangerous part is that of the daily arrivals, only five or six are mothers or children. He said that the rest are of fighting age, of Syrian origin.
He described the barbed wire as a barrier to the expansion of Turkey’s strategy that in other cases has been demonstrated by air, such as in Libya and in Nagorno-Karabakh.
According to the President, part Turkey’s strategy on Cyprus is to alter the Republic’s demographics via increased migratory flows while also harming the economy.
Asked about concerns raised by the residents in the area, President Anastasiades said that he is not aware as to how many residents have reacted, adding that if any problems are being caused, they will be resolved.
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.