A new momentum that will again bring the need for a solution to the Cyprus issue to the forefront must be built, President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades has told members of the London Cypriot community.

In an event at the Cypriot Community Centre in north London, organised by the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK on Friday evening, President Anastasiades spoke of the importance for the negotiations over the reunification of the island to be substantial. He said this should not be about accusing each other, nor having talks just for the sake of talking.

“Statements that refer to the existence of two states on the island are not in line with the international agreements and the United Nations resolutions, nor do they contribute to a positive climate”, said Anastasiades, adding that any new negotiation process should not ignore Cyprus’s EU membership.

He said that the appointment of a negotiator such as the experienced diplomat Andreas Mavrogiannis was a move both of procedure and substance. As he explained, the leaders of the two communities will have the opportunity to meet in person when and if substantial progress has been achieved by the negotiators and there is need for political decisions.

The President said that the strategy followed on the Cyprus issue is defined by the National Council, and its members will form the solution framework collectively. Referring to the strategy of his government, he said that alliances are being built and enhanced, which will contribute significantly to stopping the fruitless passing of time.

Anastasiades said he will ask the officials he will be meeting in New York in the next days to actively assist in settling the Cyprus issue and he revealed that he may be returning to London in late November for a meeting with the British Prime Minister.

He made a special reference to his government’s proposal for the return of Famagusta to its lawful inhabitants, which, as he said, is universally accepted. He remarked that the proposal would enhance the negotiating process and would create an atmosphere of trust and cooperation between the two communities.

On the issue of the Cypriot economy, Nicos Anastasiades said that there is a “titanic” effort in progress to deal with the situation and bring the island back to growth. “The task in hand is not easy at all, but we are certain that with everybody’s cooperation we will make it,” said the President. He added that the objective should be to turn the crisis into an opportunity and the “1960 state” into a modern European state with a Civil Service that can truly perform more effectively to the benefit of the Cypriot people.

He called on the rest of the political forces in Cyprus to put the common priorities above any disagreements, and help form a common strategy in order to provide the people with a vision and achieve the country’s targets sooner than many estimate.

The President also expressed his admiration for the Cypriots who proved their maturity and patriotism when they belied those who were predicting “anarchy” once the banks resumed business following the Eurogroup decisions in March. He praised the social partners and the responsible unions and employers’ organisations for their “responsible social behaviour that gives politicians the mandate to behave in the same manner”, as well.

He stressed the stabilising role that Cyprus can play in the wider region, following recent developments in countries such as Turkey, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon. “All these, combined with the discovery of hydrocarbon reserves in the Republic’s Exclusive Economic Zone, along with the fact that we are a central pillar of stability in the region, with excellent relations with all our neighbours, offer Cyprus unique advantages that are today recognised in European and international level,” said the President, who suggested the Cypriot diaspora in the UK should promote this strategic significance of their island country.

Closing his speech, he thanked the UK Cypriot community on behalf of the Cypriot people and the government for all their services, and he announced that he has already asked the relative authorities in Cyprus to examine ways of improving coordination with the community.

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