U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterresis submitting his Good Offices Mission report to the Security Council on Monday and all eyes are focused on his suggestions for the way ahead. It is highly unlikely for Antonio Guteress to suggest anything other than the continuation of the exploratory meetings between the UN and all parties involved. At the same time it is unclear if the UN Chief will include in the report the latest approach suggested by Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades for a looser federation.
As it was revealed by Anastasiades to the leaders of the Cypriot political parties, on Monday, October 8, he had suggested this approach to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusuglu, during a meeting they had, on September 23, in New York.
Meanwhile it was reported on Friday that the United Nations will arrange a meeting between the two leaders, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, after President Anastasiades returns from Brussels where he will be next week to take part in an EU Summit.
President Anastasiades was replying to questions as he was departing from the Presidential Palace after having had received UN Secretary General’s Special Representative in Cyprus and head of UNFICYP Elizabeth Spehar.
“The message conveyed by Spehar is that Akinci views my proposal in a positive light and a meeting will be arranged through the United Nations in the coming days, in line with the schedule, since next week I will be in Brussels,” he said.
Therefore, President Anastasiades added, “Immediately after my return a date will be determined for the meeting.”
Asked whether the meeting will have no agenda, he replied positively, clarifying that neither Akinci nor himself wish to give the impression that negotiations are resuming “unless a proper preparation takes place and we know what matters we will discuss.”
“As the leaders of the two communities, we will simply exchange thoughts and reflections on what the prospects are, what our future will be and how we can find the way at last in order for the solution we seek to be, as I have reiterated many times, functional, viable and offering prospects to the Cyprus people as a whole.”
Spehar, who departed a little earlier from the Presidential Palace just said that “it was a very good meeting.”
Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou has told CNA that the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee for Cyprus is obsolete and must be replaced, through negotiations, on the basis of the framework and the six parameters set out by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, during the latest Conference on Cyprus, that was held in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, in 2017.
Invited to comment a statement issued by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, regarding the Joint Declaration issued by Cyprus, Greece and Egypt, after their Trilateral Summit in Crete, on October 10, Prodromou noted that one of the Secretary General’s parameters sets as a goal the establishment of a modern security system “which will respect the sovereignty of our country without anyone acting as its guardian, through a system of guarantees, or any other involvement in its domestic issues, and without military presence, with a view to avoid Cyprus’ control by third parties and a permanent threat against stability.”
He added that President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades and the Greek Cypriot side are seeking and looking forward to negotiations on this basis, taking into consideration all well-meant interests of Turkish Cypriots.
Prodromou reiterated President Anastasiades’ clear position expressed at the conclusion of the Trilateral Summit, in Crete, that this cooperation is not against anyone, and noted that the Republic of Cyprus has been developing relations of cooperation with all neighbouring states, on the basis of mutual respect and the international legality.
He noted that UN resolutions and decisions which link the settlement of the Cyprus problem with the termination of the illegal presence of the Turkish army in Cyprus and of the occupation of big part of the Cyprus Republic territory by Turkey, are part of this international legality.
Moreover he said that these resolutions and decisions denounce the illegal secessionist act to which Turkey proceeded in 1983 – by unanimously declaring a Turkish Cypriot puppet regime in Cyprus` occupied areas – noting that Ankara insists since then to refer to Cyprus’ Turkish occupied areas as a separate state, which is not, as he stressed, recognized by any country in the world.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said, among others, in its statement that it is dismayed by “unwarranted claims against Turkey in the Joint Declaration” published after the Trilateral Summit in Crete.
It also noted that the Turkish invasion of Cyprus was carried out “based on the rights stemming from 1960 Guarantee Agreement”, adding that “within this context, Turkey will resolutely continue to preserve its rights and interests emanating from the fact that Turkish Cypriots are co-owners of the island.”
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met the General Secretary of Cyprus’ AKEL party Andros Kyprianou in Athens on Friday, at his offices in the Maximos Mansion. Emerging from the meeting, Kyprianou said that he had a very productive meeting with Tsipras, in which he presented AKEL’s positions on the Cyprus issue.
He also expressed his belief that a report to be presented on Monday by United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres “will not launch any initiative [for the resumption of Cyprus talks] at this stage.”
Guterres had made it clear that he will not launch a new round of talks unless he is convinced that the political will exists to take the process to the end, Kyprianou noted, and added that “this causes us a great deal of concern.”
He said the Greek prime minister had given him assurances that Greece will steadfastly continue to support the positions it has always held, in favour of a solution based on a bizonal-bicommunal federation, while insisting on the abolition of guarantor and intervention rights by Turkey.
“We have made it clear that the Cyprus solution must be solved, otherwise we will slide toward a permanent division of the island, and all of the political parties on Cyprus have decided that the Cyprus issue can only be resolved through negotiations,” he said.