We cannot proceed to negotiations on the Cyprus problem under threats, Nicosia said on Thursday, welcoming at the same time the fact that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, expressed his commitment and determination for the resumption of efforts for a Cyprus settlement after the process for the election of the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community. The election will take place in October in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus.
Deputy Government Spokesman Panayiotis Sentonas said that dialogue should take place in the right framework and in order to have this framework Turkish threats against the Republic of Cyprus, regarding the Cypriot EEZ and the fenced-off city of Famagusta, need to be terminated.
In statements at the Presidential Palace, Sentonas said that “the President of the Republic wishes to welcome the fact that UN’s Secretary-General reiterates his commitment and determination that after the voting process to elect the new Turkish Cypriot leader he will resume efforts for a settlement of the Cyprus problem on the basis of what has been agreed during the meeting in Berlin”.
“He also welcomes the fact that the UN Secretary-General asks to avoid unilateral actions that could undermine the future success of the negotiations”, he added, noting that “such actions are the illegal actions of Turkey in the Cypriot EEZ and Turkey’s threats for opening Varosha”.
Regarding the UNSG’s call to develop confidence building measures, Sentonas recalled that in his latest letter to Guterres, as well as during their latest telephone conversation, President Anastasiades reiterated his proposal to set up a Technical Committee comprised of Cypriot and international experts, for reconstructing Varosha.
“At the same time, we recall that during his meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader in February 2019, President Anastasiades submitted a proposal for 21 confidence building measures”, he added.
Sentonas noted, that the President remains ready to work towards this direction, towards the adoption of confidence building measures.
Additionally, he said that President Anastasiades discussed the Cyprus problem during meetings he had recently, with the President of the European Council, during the MED7 Summit, with the US Secretary of State and with the Russian Foreign Minister, expressing his readiness for the resumption of the negotiations from where they were suspended in Crans Montana.
Asked if Nicosia is in favour of a five-party meeting on the procedural issues despite provocations but does not favour substantive dialogue unless provocations are terminated, Sentonas said that what has been agreed is to convene an informal five-party meeting, that will open the way for the resumption of the dialogue.