Cyprus President says he will attend five-party conference with determination, after meeting Greek counterpart in Athens

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said on Wednesday that he is going to attend the informal five-party conference on Cyprus, in late April, with good faith, willingness and determination. He was speaking during a meeting with the President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, in the framework of his visit to Athens, where he attends celebrations for the 200th anniversary of the 1821 Greek Revolution.

President Anastasiades stressed that the aim of the Cyprus government is to create the necessary conditions that will permit the UN Secretary-General to convene a Summit on Cyprus, that will lead, through negotiations, to a viable and functional Cyprus solution. “I hope that Turkey will display a similar spirit and will abandon its newfound ideas for the creation of two states”, he said.

The goal of the Greek Cypriot side is a solution based on the UN parameters and the European acquis, President Anastasiades noted. He also said that the abolition of the system of guarantees and the respect of the European acquis will create safe conditions for all citizens, Greek Cypriots, and Turkish Cypriots. “A Cyprus solution will normalize Cyprus-Turkey, Europe-Turkey and Greece-Turkey relations”, he said.

Referring to the bicentennial of the Greek Revolution, President Anastasiades said he felt particularly emotional for participating in the official celebrations. As he underlined, Cyprus contributed 1000 volunteers during the 1821 revolution and paid a very heavy price, with the execution of Archbishop Kyprianos, while suffering retaliatory measures from the Ottoman Empire. The Greek Revolution is “the same struggle inspiring us today, 46 years after the Turkish occupation, in order to seek justice” that will “reinstate peace in Cyprus and the human rights of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots” President Anastasiades concluded.

On her part, the President of the Hellenic Republic welcomed President Anastasiades in the official celebrations and said that is participation was “an ideal opportunity to honor the contribution of Cyprus` Hellenism” to the Greek Revolution.

“As you are well aware, Greece always supports your struggle to end the Turkish occupation and reunite the island. We are all struggling together for a just and functioning Cyprus solution, based on UN Security Council Resolutions”, Sakellaropoulou stressed.

The President of the Hellenic Republic expressed hope that the Turkish side will attend the informal five-party summit in a spirit of reason and will abandon its “irrational” claims. “In any case, I would like to assure you that Greece will always support the rights of Greek Cypriots and will always be by your side”, she 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 informal conference on Cyprus will take place 27-29 of April in Geneva.


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