United Nations.- CNA
President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades has stressed his strong commitment to achieve a solution of the Cyprus problem continuing the negotiations on the six-point framework that the UN Secretary – General has set, expressing concern about the lapse of time due to the fact that the peace process remains at an impasse since the Conference on Cyprus of July 2017.
Addressing the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly (presided at the time of his speech by Cypriot PM Ambassador Kornelios Korneliou, one of the UNGA’s Vice Presidents), the Cypriot President said that “when talking about the importance of achieving peace and stability in our immediate neighborhood and the means through which it can be accomplished, I feel obliged to stress the significance and the consequent multiple benefits that would arise by reaching a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem”.
First and foremost, he said, a viable and lasting settlement would be to the best interest of the people of Cyprus, Greek and Turkish Cypriots, and their aspiration to live in a normal and prosperous European country, fully independent and free from any foreign dependencies.
At the same time, he added, “I remain convinced that the solution of the Cyprus problem will undoubtedly have a very important collateral influence on achieving and maintaining a much-needed environment of stability and peace in the region”.
“Last, but not least, the solution of an international problem which has been on the agenda of the United Nations in the last decades, will offer a beacon of hope that even the most intractable problems can be solved peacefully through the United Nations” the President pointed out.
In his address, he also said that “unfortunately, as the peace process remains at an impasse since the Conference on Cyprus of July 2017, I am deeply concerned about the lapse of time and its consequences”.
He continued by saying that ” Only a viable and functional solution, in line with our EU membership and the best practices of democratic countries of the UN, can establish the conditions for achieving lasting peace, allowing my country to fully take its stride and for all Cypriots to live in a normal state and work together for the prosperity and security of all”.
President Anastasiades stressed that “I remain strongly and truly committed to achieve a solution on the basis of the relevant UN resolutions and the European Union acquis, continuing the negotiations on the six-point framework that the UN Secretary – General has set as the basis for the way forward”.
“The UN Secretary – General and His Good Offices Mission is the only way forward” he said.
Referring to Turkey, he said that we expect Ankara, which has a key role in the efforts to reach a settlement, to rise to the occasion and demonstrate the necessary political determination to reach a settlement and concretely contribute to regional stability.
“On our own behalf, I wish once more to repeat that we are determined to rise to the challenge of our historic responsibility and do our utmost so as to provide a peaceful future for all Cypriots and the region” he noted.
The President also referred to the cooperation mechanisms of Cyprus with countries in the region, saying that they are neither exclusive nor directed against any third country.
“Being accepted by all as an honest broker with no hidden agenda, we have reinforced our historic close ties with the countries of our immediate region and, alongside Greece, we have established trilateral partnerships with neighboring countries, including Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine” he said.
These trilateral mechanisms, he went on to say, constitute a fitting example of what can be achieved when countries with shared concerns and common interests join powers, instead of isolating themselves.
In short, he added, these trilateral partnerships are a practical expression of effective multilateralism, fully in line with the theme of the UN: «Shared responsibilities for peaceful, equitable and sustainable societies».
“As such, they are neither exclusive, nor directed against any third country. On the contrary, they institutionalize co-operation and dialogue in our region, particularly in areas in which there are comparative advantages, as for example, in the field of energy”, he pointed out.
Concluding his remarks on this issue, he said that `in this regard, we warmly welcome the expansion of these trilateral formats to include additional partners in specific fields of mutually beneficial collaborations`.
As regards the peace and security pillar reform, he said that “bearing in mind the ongoing unstable situation and conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Nigeria, Myanmar, Afghanistan, the Sahel, the long-standing Israeli – Palestinian conflict and, of course, the still unresolved problem of the forcible division of my country, we should attach particular importance to the peace and security pillar reform”.
“We fully concur with the notion of the primacy of diplomacy in peace-making and conflict-resolution and the supportive, yet catalytic, role of peace-keeping operations therein. We ought to admit, however, that the former is jeopardized without the latter and that in the absence of a negotiating process, the need for peace-keeping becomes much greater and indispensable. The situation in my country offers a meaningful example in this regard” he said.
The Cypriot President noted that while we remain deeply committed to adopting necessary reforms in this pillar, we strongly believe that each peace-keeping operation should be evaluated on its own merit, based on actual needs and threats on the ground.
“The risks involved are far too grave to allow for any experimentations in this regard” he underlined.