President of the Republic Demetris Christofias has said Monday that for the Cyprus problem to be solved, all sides must show and act on the necessary good will, which is the basic element needed to achieve a solution.
Receiving the credentials of the first resident Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to Cyprus, stationed in Nicosia, Ahmad Salem Ahmad Al-Wehaib, he also said the Government of Cyprus counts on the valuable support of the esteemed Government of Kuwait, in the framework of international organizations, towards finding a viable solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of the United Nations Resolutions.
Presenting his credentials, Al-Wehaib said the Kuwaiti people and the Government of the State of Kuwait are satisfied with the development of the friendly relationship and cooperation between the two countries during the past years and are looking forward to further developing and strengthening these relations in the interests of the two peoples and countries.
“I wish to assure Your Excellency that during the accomplishment of my mission, I wish to do my best to contribute to the consolidation and strengthening of the relations of friendship and cooperation which so happily exist between our two countries”, he added.
Kuwait, he said, is fully committed to the United Nation Charter and to the principles of sovereign equality, non interferences in the internal affairs of others, peaceful coexistence and peaceful resolution of disputes. “Based on our commitment to these principles Kuwait has always supported all UN Resolutions and initiatives aimed at protecting the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Cyprus”, he remarked.
Receiving the credentials, President Christofias assured the government will assist the ambassador in the performance of his duties and will work in further enhancing bilateral relations by building upon the long-lasting friendly relations that exist between our two countries.
“The establishment of an Embassy of the State of Kuwait in Nicosia and the opening of an Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Kuwait this autumn only affirms the common desire to further develop the relations of our two countries. I look forward to this, specifically in the political, economic, tourism, educational and cultural fields as well as the health sector. In this broader context of strengthening the ties between our two countries, I also wish to reiterate my invitation to His Highness, the Prime Minister of Kuwait, to visit Cyprus”, the President added.
President Christofias said Cyprus, being at the easternmost corner of the European Union, a bridge between Europe and the Middle East, can make a valuable contribution in addressing regional and global challenges and providing new opportunities for dialogue between our cultures. “The recent developments have brought about new challenges for our common neighbourhood, which can be dealt with through cooperation and joint action. We would welcome a more enhanced political dialogue in favour of the stability of our region, both at the bilateral and regional levels within the framework of EU-Gulf Cooperation Council relations and we feel that there is great potential for creating new prospects for cooperation in favour of peace and stability”, he added.
Christofias expressed deep gratitude to the people and the Government of the State of Kuwait for the sincere and strong support they offered to Cyprus in the difficult years that followed the Turkish invasion of 1974. “The Government of Cyprus counts on the valuable support of the esteemed Government of Kuwait, in the framework of international organizations, towards finding a viable solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of the United Nations Resolutions”. Unfortunately, he said, “within the Organization of the Islamic Conference, recent developments as regards Cyprus, cause concern. Therefore, Cyprus would appreciate the contribution of Kuwait in cooperation with other friendly countries in the OIC, to discourage policies that are counter-productive towards the prospects for an agreed solution of the Cyprus issue”.
President Christofias said since the beginning of the direct talks between the leaders of the two communities, which started in September 2008, the Greek Cypriot side has demonstrated constantly its political will for a mutual and sincere compromise that would lead to the reunification of the island. Through our consistent and constructive stance in the talks and the feasible we submit, we aim at finding a viable and lasting solution based on the agreed basis.
The talks, he added, are also taking place within an agreed procedure of Cypriot ownership under the Good Offices Mission of the United Nations Secretary-General. There is no question of imposing arbitration or artificial timetables. The agreed and mutually acceptable solution will be put before the people of Cyprus for approval in separate simultaneous referenda.
“The key to achieve the reunification of Cyprus as soon as possible is the commitment to this basis both in words but also in substance. At the meeting between the leaders of the two communities and the Secretary-General on 7 July 2011 in Geneva, we agreed to the intensification of the talks to achieve progress by October on all negotiating chapters,“ he noted.
President Christofias said that “unfortunately, within days after the Geneva meeting, Prime Minister Erdogan, single-handedly undermined what has been agreed there. He dismissed the return of Varosha, Morphou and the Karpas, essentially ruling out any form of territorial adjustment, and stated that the withdrawal of Turkish troops is excluded from his agenda. At the same time, in essence he made clear that Turkey’s main goal is not the solution of the Cyprus problem, but rather the upgrading of the illegal regime in the occupied part of Cyprus.
“I firmly believe that if we are to solve the Cyprus problem, all sides must show and act on the necessary good will, which is the basic element needed to achieve a solution. Turkey should also implement its obligations it has undertaken vis-a-vis the Republic of Cyprus and the EU, including its obligation to actively support the efforts to achieve a solution”, the President stressed.
He assured that “we will continue to submit realistic and reasonable proposals, in good faith, with the aim to achieve further progress”, adding “we hope that the same good faith will be demonstrated by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots”.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-led negotiations began in 2008 between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, in an effort to reunify the island under a federal roof.
President Christofias and Eroglu met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in Geneva, on July 7th, and according to Ban`s statement after the meeting, they agreed to enter into an intensive period of negotiations on the core issues of the Cyprus problem, with an aim of achieving convergences before meeting again in New York, next October.