We need to have a substantive dialogue, President Anastasiades will tell Antonio Guterres

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has said that he will highlight to the UN Secretary General, in an impartial manner and without entering a blame game, the need to have a substantive dialogue, in the context of the UN-led peace effort to reunite Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

Speaking on arrival in New York, where he will be the key note speaker at an investment conference hosted by Capital Link, the President said he will seek to explain the problems the peace process is facing to Antonio Guterres and to British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, when they meet in New York.

“We did not leave the negotiating table,” he said, adding that his goal is to continue the negotiations with a view to finding a functional and viable solution which will respect EU principles and values to the benefit of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

Asked what he expects from Guterres, the President repeated the need for substantive talks, stressing his determination to work hard towards a political settlement.

Pointing out that Cyprus is an EU member, he said certain claims by the Turkish side, regarding the four EU fundamental freedoms, the effective participation in government and the issue of guarantees, are not compatible with EU rules and regulations and Cyprus` capacity as an EU member.

“I cannot overlook the fact that there has been progress at the talks but I cannot ignore the difficulties we are facing,” he added.

Replying to a question about statements by Turkey`s FM, Anastasiades said Mevlut Cavusoglu`s claims are impossible to fulfill.

“I have no wish to link the demands of the Turkish FM to my meeting with the UNSG. I will however stress to the Secretary General that which can contribute to a lasting solution which is compatible with the acquis communautaire. Unfortunately Cavusoglu`s claims have nothing to do with what we are seeking to achieve,” he added.

The President stressed that the solution cannot serve the interests of a third country, it can only serve the interest of Cypriots.

Replying to another question, he expressed hope that the talks will resume soon.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN led talks between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities resumed in May 2015 with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.

The talks were interrupted in mid February by the Turkish Cypriot side, which demands that a decision passed by the Cypriot Parliament relating to a 1950 referendum on union with Greece is revoked, claiming this indicates a shift in the Greek Cypriot side`s goal for a federal solution. The amendment provides that there will be a very brief reference to the referendum at schools.

President Anastasiades has described the House decision as wrong and called on the leader of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, who walked out of the talks, to return to the negotiating table to discuss pending issues with a view to reach a mutually acceptable agreement to reunite the country.

source: CNA