Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades expressed his satisfaction “for the solidarity and support on the positions of the Republic of Cyprus, as reflected in the adopted Conclusions” of the European Council.
Referring to this meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, President Anastasiades said that Guterres ruled out a two-state solution as a non-starter adding that he acknowledged that Turkish positions were “hampering efforts to resume talks”, but that “he would continue to work to create the conditions for a meaningful dialogue.”
In statements to the press, the President also thanked the Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis, “who with his interventions managed to achieve the specific Conclusions” and pointed out that in the text adopted “the irreversible commitment of the EU is repeated in resolving the Cyprus problem, on the basis of a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with political equality, in accordance with the relevant UN and Security Council Resolutions, with explicit reference to Resolution 1251, thus rejecting the position of the Turkish and of the Turkish Cypriot side for the two-state solution.”
Furthermore, he said, in the text “the importance of maintaining the status of Varosha is emphasized and Turkey is called upon to show respect for the relevant UN Security Council resolutions but also to avoid any actions that would contradict Resolutions 550 and 789.”
In particular, the President noted the following on the EUCO and his meeting with the UN Secretary General that “during the lunch, I had the opportunity with my extensive intervention, to point out a number of illegal actions of Turkey,”, he noted, such as the violations of the International Convention on the Law of the Sea – the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus, the attempts performed on the ground with the alteration of the status of the enclosed city of Famagusta, the creation of an air base for unmanned aircraft in Turkish occupied Lefkoniko and the intention to build a military naval base in Turkish occupied Trikomo.
He also referred to the instrumentalization of the flow of immigrants and the problems of demographic change caused in Cyprus and the demand of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership for a change in the basis for a solution to the Cyprus problem contrary to the UNSC resolutions (two-state solution).
“I pointed out that the efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue, as well as the common ground that is sought, are included in the UN resolutions and in the terms of reference of the Secretary General,” the President noted.
“I must say that, in his answer, the President of the European Commission, Von der Leyen, and the High Representative, Josep Borrell, stressed that the solution sought by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership is a non-starter because it is contrary to the relevant United Nations resolutions, contrary to the terms of reference of the Secretary-General, but also from a European point of view against the European acquis,” he pointed out.
Furthermore, President Anastasiades said “during my meeting with the Secretary General, I expressed my disappointment with the results of the informal meeting in Geneva, as a result of the conditions set by the Turkish Cypriot and Turkish sides for the resumption of negotiations”, the recognition of sovereignty by the United Nations and the international community and Mr. Tatar`s six points, the acceptance of a two-state solution etc.”
“At the same time, I applauded the Secretary-General`s stance of non-acceptance of positions that deviate from the United Nations Resolutions and the terms of his mandate, but also his determination to continue efforts to restart the negotiation process by convening an informal meeting within the next few months.”
He also noted that, to this end, “our side agrees with his own proposal as submitted – and as we had stressed at the time in Geneva – for the appointment of a Special Representative for the Cyprus issue, expressing the hope that it will receive a positive response from Turkish Cypriots and Turkish side.”
At the same time, President Anastasiades continued, “I reiterated my readiness and determination, but also my political will, both to participate in a new informal conference on the Cyprus issue and – more preferably – to engage in a creative and meaningful dialogue based on the United Nations Resolutions. but also, the principles and values of the European Union, of which the Republic of Cyprus is and will continue to be a member.”
A dialogue, he said, “aimed at creating a functioning and, consequently, sustainable state, with full respect for the human rights of all Cypriots – Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots – without foreign dependencies, without any guarantees or foreign troops.”
“In addition, I expressed my readiness, if the Secretary-General deems it appropriate to convene a joint meeting with Mr Tatar, to clarify the real intentions or, through the Secretary-General`s intervention, to create the conditions for the resumption of a substantive dialogue,” he noted.
At the same time, Cyprus’ President said he “stressed that a favourable environment should be created to facilitate efforts to resume constructive dialogue – substantive negotiations – away from tensions, away from threats or unilateral actions contrary to international law, stressing the need for Turkey to abstain from any new provocations either in Varosha or in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus, something that negatively affects not only the Greek Cypriots but also the Turkish Cypriots.”
“For his part, the UN Secretary-General, as he said at yesterday`s dinner at the European Council, ruled out a two-state solution as a non-starter – a failure to start or prohibit the start of negotiations – clarifying that the conditions in his mandate are clear and provide for finding a solution on the basis of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, with political equality, always in accordance with the United Nations Resolutions.”
“He acknowledged that Turkish positions were hampering efforts to resume talks, but said he would continue to work to create the conditions for a meaningful dialogue,” the President 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.
A 5+1 Informal Meeting that took place in Geneva, on April 27-29, failed to find enough common ground to allow for the resumption of formal negotiations in relation to the settlement of the Cyprus problem.
UN Secretary – General, Antonio Guterres, has said that he will convene in the near future another meeting of the 5+1, the five plus the United Nations, again with the objective to move in the direction of reaching common ground to allow for formal negotiations to start.
Varosha, the fenced off section of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta, is often described as a ‘ghost town’. UN Security Council resolution 550 (1984) considers any attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the UN. UN Security Council resolution 789 (1992) also urges that with a view to the implementation of resolution 550 (1984), the area at present under the control of the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus be extended to include Varosha.
On October 8, 2020, the Turkish side opened part of the fenced area of Varosha, following an announcement made in Ankara on October 6. Both the UN Secretary-General and the EU expressed concern, while the UN Security Council called for the reversal of this course of action.