Statements by Toumazos Tsielepis, member of the Political Bureau of AKEL and Head of AKEL’s Cyprus Problem Bureau

“Dialogos” web portal, 17 July 2019

The proposal put forth by Akinci disconnects the issue of natural gas with the solution of the Cyprus problem and this is the main reason it is rejected, noted Toumazos Tsielepis, member of the Political Bureau of AKEL and Head of the Cyprus Problem Bureau of AKEL.

Speaking to “Astra” radio station, the Head of AKEL’s Cyprus Problem Bureau stressed that natural gas can constitute a serious incentive for the two communities to work for a solution, and that is why the Christofias-Talat convergences must be used.

Mr. Tsilelepis said that he has no doubts about Mr. Akinci’s will for a solution, but if his proposal were to be accepted and someone else assumed the leadership of the Turkish Cypriots, then he could use the situation to the detriment of the Cyprus problem.

AKEL, he added, believes that the President must not simply say “No” to Akinci’s proposal, but should at the same time submit a convincing counter-proposal that replies to the concerns of the Turkish Cypriot side and which should become accepted by the international community.

Mr. Tsielepis said that AKEL would send a letter to President Anastasiades, in which it will propose specific positions which he can put forth without going beyond “red” lines.

He stressed that the Cyprus problem must again be put on to the path of negotiations, adding that the policy President Anastasiades has been pursuing over the last two years has collapsed.

Toumazos Tsielepis also urged the President to ask himself why the UN Secretary General hasn’t been convinced to resume talks.

He reiterated AKEL’s position that the talks must resume from where they had remained at Crans Montana and on the basis of the Guterres Framework, otherwise the possibility of the final partition of Cyprus before us will be more visible.

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