Cyprus President expressed on Thursday his firm belief that if the negotiating process will have any realistic prospect of success, talks should be meaningful, result oriented and conducted in a comprehensive manner.

In an introductory statement at a press conference held in New York after his speech before the UN General Assembly, President Anastasiades spoke of the various contacts himself had in New York so far, including with the UN Secretary General, several Head of States (Serbia, Lebanon, Palestine), the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Russia and China, the Permanent Representatives of the P5 and with the members of the Council of Foreign Relations, members of the AIPAC and members of the American Jewish Committee.

“Tomorrow I will be in Washington for a meeting with the US Vice President John Biden”, he said.

President Anastasiades added, “The Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Kasoulides had a number of very important meetings with his colleagues from Lebanon, the Republic of Korea, Kazakhstan, Libya, Montenegro and Kuwait”.

Referring to the Cyprus issue, he said that during his meetings “first of all, I assured that, despite the current economic difficulties we are facing, I am committed to work tirelessly and with determination in reaching a viable and lasting settlement”.

He continued to say that he also “presented my views as regard the negotiating process and the basis for reaching a settlement, as well as of my political vision for a reunited Cyprus”.

“I stressed that the time of the start of the negotiations is not as important as for the negotiations to be well-prepared, with clear substance aims and targets”, he pointed out.

It is my firm belief, President Anastasiades added, “that if the negotiating process is to have any realistic prospect of concluding in success, they (the talks) have to be meaningful, result oriented and be conducted in a comprehensive manner”.

The Cyprus President “welcomed the decision of Turkey to respond positively to my proposal to hold meetings with the negotiator of the Greek Cypriot community”.

He further expressed the hope and expectation “that this positive response will be followed up through practical and substantial steps and the adoption of a constructive attitude, guided by good faith, which will contribute effectively towards reaching a settlement”.

“I also emphasized the need that the capacity of the Republic of Cyprus as a European Union member state should play an important role during the negotiating process, bearing in mind the evolving transformation of the Republic of Cyprus in a bi-zonal, bi-communal Federal State, with a single international personality, single sovereignty and single citizenship”, he pointed out.

President Anstasiades noted that during his meetings he stressed the need of restoring “the hope, trust and confidence of the people in the prospect of reaching a settlement, through the adoption of measures, which will provide a dynamic impetus to the negotiating process”.

“As such, I presented my proposal as regards the resettlement of Varosha to its rightful and lawful owners and inhabitants under the auspices of the United Nations”.

He concluded his introductory statement by expressing his satisfaction “for the fact that, through my meetings, the positive and stabilizing role that Cyprus can assume in the Eastern Mediterranean, especially in the areas of combating terrorism, fighting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and providing humanitarian assistance, was widely acknowledged and commented”.

Cyprus was divided in 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.
Dubbed a “ghost town”, Famagusta’s fenced off section – called Varosha – remains to this day deserted, abandoned to the elements.

Efforts over the years for the legitimate citizens of Famagusta to return to the city have met the refusal of the Turkish side.

A new effort has been launched recently by President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades, who submitted a proposal for the return of Famagusta and the use of its port by the Turkish Cypriots for exports to EU countries.

The President believes this would help build confidence, proving that the two communities on the island could coexist peacefully in conditions of prosperity and peace.
Previous UN led efforts to reunite the country have failed. New talks are expected to resume in the autumn.

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