President of the Republic Nikos Christodoulides has stressed that the Greek Cypriot side is ready for the resumption of the Cyprus talks, noting that there are circumstances that are being exploited through efforts so as to break the deadlock and resume the Cyprus talks.
In statements on Saturday on the sidelines of the Annual Pancyprian Conference of the Cyprus Union of Bank Employees, the President reiterated his proposal for a more active EU role in the efforts to resume the talks, saying that the efforts of the Greek Cypriot side are focused on restarting the dialogue.
Commenting on journalist’s remark that while there was a de-escalation of the tension between Turkey and Greece, with the cessation of overflights of Turkey in the Aegean, the Turkish President will be paying a visit to the occupied territories of Cyprus, President Christodoulides said that “indeed, especially after the earthquakes in Turkey and possibly because of the elections in the country, we saw a different approach from Turkey’s side, we also saw a new climate being created in the relations between Athens and Ankara”.
The Turkish elections are now over, he said, adding that what the Greek Cypriot side expects as regards the Cyprus issue is to see concrete results for resuming the Cyprus talks “and that is where our efforts are focused”.
He noted that following the elections in Turkey, Cyprus is in contact with European capitals, with heads of EU member states, as well as with the EU institutions, “to see how this proposal, this new approach that we have put on the table of discussions for the need for the EU to have a more active, leading role, can proceed, because we believe that the EU has all those incentives to lead to a mutually beneficial state of affairs through the solution of the Cyprus issue”.
The President of the Republic referred to milestones, saying that the European Council is taking place at the end of June, while before that, the NATO Summit will take place, where there will be discussions on the sidelines.
“What we expect is to create conditions, which will lead to the breaking of the impasse and the resumption of talks. We will all be judged through developments, through specific actions,” he pointed out.
The President was also invited to comment on political analysts’ opinions who say that now there are strong governments in Turkey, Greece and Cyprus and thus chances of resolving the Cyprus issue. “These are three important facts and at the same time there is one more fact, which is the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the destabilising tendencies that are being created, the EU’s reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine”.
There are some facts, he said, that Cyprus is using in its efforts, which should lead to results.
He expressed hope that there will be an outcome, adding that everything will be judged by the result towards the direction of breaking the impasse and resuming the talks.
“We are ready,” the President stressed, adding that “I can say this with absolute certainty, with absolute awareness of what I am saying, with very specific proposals that we have shared to some extent with EU member states that we have asked to mediate or have a leading role in the direction of the EU”.
Invited to comment on a joint exercise of Turkey-Poland-Spain and the pseudo-state, the President said that representations have been made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He said that it was an exercise by Turkey, in which the other states had participated, while Turkey had also invited the pseudo-state.
“It’s not the first time it’s happened. It is for this reason that we ask the states that are invited to participate in Turkey’s exercises, exercises that it sometimes organises within the framework of NATO, to be particularly cautious and to investigate beforehand who else will participate, because it is one of the Turkish efforts to allegedly upgrade the status of the pseudo-state”, he concluded.
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 pseudo-state in the occupied territories of Cyprus is recognised only by Turkey.