General Secretary of AKEL A.Kyprianou replies to questions:
AKEL backs the resumption of talks, but points out that a strategy is absent
Provided that substantive negotiations resume in the right direction, AKEL will back the effort, the General Secretary of AKEL Andros Kyprianou declared.
Responding to journalist’s questions on the Cyprus problem, foreign policy and energy issues, during the TV debate with DISY President Averof Neofytou, A. Kyprianou said, however, that a comprehensive strategy for resolving the Cyprus problem was absent and that communication games are prevalent, while noting that the DISY President distorts what he says on the Cyprus problem.
We must have a clear strategy for the solution of the Cyprus problem and implement tactics that serve the main strategic objective of the reunification and liberation of the country, the General Secretary of AKEL said.
On a communication level, the President of the Republic declares his readiness for the convening of a five-party meeting, but external forces judge developments on the substance, he said, and made reference to supposed “new ideas” and proposals for a parliamentary democracy system (by President Anastasiades).
Asked about President Anastasiades’ resolve to solve the Cyprus problem, Mr. Kyprianou replied that the moves the President of the Republic has made lately are in the right direction, pointing to the informal meeting in Berlin, but also the meetings with the Turkish Cypriot leader. “I hope they aren’t part of some communication tactic,” he said, and expressed the wish that after the “elections” in the occupied territories initiatives will be undertaken to create the prospect of resuming a meaningful dialogue.
If and provided that substantive negotiations resume, if and when they move in the right direction and there is a consistent and clear strategy pursued by Mr. Anastasiades, AKEL will back the effort, he said, adding that Cyprus and the Cypriot people are above everything else.
He also said that Averof Neofytou distorts what he says on the Cyprus problem, despite the fact that he states in all his speeches that Turkey is primarily responsible for the fact that the Cyprus problem hasn’t been solved.
On the problems in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Mr. Kyprianou said that we must see how we overcome them so that we come closer to a solution. There must be a comprehensive Government proposal on energy, something that is absent right now, he added.
Replying to another question about a possible moratorium in the EEZ, Andros Kyprianou said he gave a reply on the matter a few days ago, saying that the Republic of Cyprus cannot be a captive of Turkey’s aggressive actions and must continue its energy program. At the same time, he reiterated AKEL’s view that Turkey would end its actions if the talks on the Cyprus problem were to resume.
According to Mr. Kyprianou, people’s concerns about the escalation of Turkey’s aggression are justified, but said that the government must ensure through institutional solutions that these concerns are allayed.
He said that EU sanctions are justified because Turkey is behaving aggressively, nonetheless the General Secretary of AKEL characterized the measures for sanctions as timid and lukewarm, as he said, in comparison to the international community’s reaction towards Turkey, when Cyprus had begun drilling during the time of the Christofias administration.
According to Mr. Kyprianou, there is a huge difference, as Nicosia’s readiness to resume substantive negotiations was considered given back then, while today there are doubts among the international community.
Responding to a question about his interview to ‘CNN Turk’ and his references regarding a natural gas pipeline through Turkey, Mr. Kyprianou said that we should not agree on anything at all with Turkey at this stage, but the matter must be raised.
On the East Med issue, the General Secretary of AKEL said he agrees it is a political agreement, but whether or not it will actually be done will be judged according to economic criteria.
The General Secretary of AKEL was also asked about information that the President of the Republic commissioned his associates to conduct a study for a partition of the EEZ, with Andros Kyprianou replying that similar information had come to his attention, but said that these issues could not be made public. .
He referred to statements made by President Anastasiades before and after the presidential elections, which, he said, refer to an acceptance of two separate EEZ’s, while also referring to the public debate around the possibility surrounding a two-state solution, saying that “many attribute this discussion to the President of the Republic