Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has reaffirmed his deep and sincere commitment to reach a solution of the Cyprus issue and has said that Moscow has a role to play in helping the process along.
President Anastasiades, who was speaking on Thursday, at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), referred to the positive results of his visit in Russia and presented also an analysis of how things stand on efforts for the reunification of Cyprus.
“The question is not what Cyprus is doing but what the members of the Council of Europe, especially the Ministers of Foreign Affairs are doing, because it is up to them to enforce the implementation of European Court of Human Rights decisions”, he pointed out.
According to President Anastasiades “the message must be conveyed that it is high time for Turkey to respect the decisions of the European Court”. He said that since 1974 there have been numerous UN Security Council resolutions on Cyprus and that none of them has been implemented by Turkey.
On 6th October 2014 Turkey invaded Cyprus’ EEZ and EU partners are imposing sanctions on Russia not because Moscow has invaded the Ukraine but because they suspect that they (Russians) are encouraging the separatists. However, “they ignore the invasion of Turkey and the violation of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus”, he stressed.
Asked what the new Greek government can do to help the efforts for a solution, he wondered what Greece alone could do.
“Unless we have other countries like the Russian Federation offering us their strong support, unfortunately it seems that Turkey will continue to be intransigent”, he said. At the same time he expressed the hope that one of these days Turkey will realise that the Cyprus question is a headache as far as its aspirations to join Europe are concerned or in other fora where the Cyprus question is always raised. There is also the headache of the cost in terms of the financial support Ankara provides to the occupied areas in Cyprus, he noted.
“I think one of these days they will realise that they have to contribute towards finding a solution, withdrawing their troops and working with some other countries including Greece of course to give an end to this protracted, unacceptable status quo”, he said.
In his address earlier President Anastasiades said that “what is highly unfortunate is that hydrocarbons should not be a source of friction and cannot be allowed to be rendered as a disincentive for reaching a settlement on the Cyprus problem.”
Rather, he added, “the natural wealth is the most powerful incentive for a substantial dialogue, far from any threats or blackmail, in order to reach, at the earliest possible, a mutually acceptable settlement of the Cyprus problem benefiting both the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots, but also all the countries in the region, including Turkey.”
He reiterated his deep and sincere commitment “to reaching a viable and lasting settlement that will address the concerns of both communities and of all Cypriots, as this is the duty I have undertaken towards all Cypriots.”
And that is why, he stressed, “for me there is only one Plan: That is to reach a settlement of the Cyprus problem the soonest possible, on the basis of what has been agreed as a compromise.”
This compromise, he explained, has to do with “the evolution of the Republic of Cyprus into a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with political equality, as set out in the relevant Security Council Resolutions and the High Level Agreements, with a single sovereignty, a single international legal personality and a single citizenship.”
As discussed yesterday with the leadership of the Russian Government, President Anastasiades said “Russia has a role to play towards positively contributing to our efforts of reaching a solution.”
“Be it on EU – Russia relations or the efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, I assure you that on our part we will exert every effort to contributing to the courageous building of bridges, especially during these times of increasing challenges for the purpose of collective benefit”, he added.
We consider this, he said, “essential for the geopolitical stability and security of our wider region in which the Russian Federation is an inseparable and obviously crucial part.”
The Republic of Cyprus, an EU member state since 2004, has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-backed talks to reunite the country under a federal roof have failed so far due to Turkey`s intransigent stance and a policy of a `two state` solution on the island.
Turkey, which is an EU candidate country, violates international law and human rights in Cyprus since the invasion in 1974. Numerous resolutions and decisions by international and European organisations calling on Ankara to withdraw its troops from Cyprus are not respected by Turkey.