Cyprus does not have the luxury of another failure in the effort to reunite the island, President Nicos Anastasiades has stressed, pointing out that the Cyprus issue, was and remains the greatest national challenge, despite difficult economic conditions the country is going through.

Addressing an event unveiling a memorial for reservists, in the coastal city of Limassol, President Anastasiades said that in parallel with the efforts to exit the economic crisis, the government continues to work for a solution of the national problem, the island’s division, which, as he said “constitutes the top priority for our country and its people”.

Cyprus was divided in 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Previous UN- led efforts to reunify the island under a federal roof have failed.

The Cyprus President reiterated that any new process should make the occupying power, Turkey, accountable for the proposals it puts forward during negotiations.

Any new process should certainly remain under UN aegis with a view of finding a solution based on High Level Agreements, and relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the Agreement of July 8 2006 and the unanimous decisions of the National Council, he added.

These provide for a bicommunal bizonal federation, with a single sovereignty, one citizenship and one international personality.

President Anastasiades further pointed out that a new process should not ignore Cyprus’ status as an EU member state. This is why, he added, concrete involvement by the EU itself is necessary.

He said that it is important that fresh talks, which will be well prepared in advance, begin so that they may lead to a positive result.

“We don’t have the luxury of another failure, nor can we afford to lose any more time”, he stressed, adding that “our goal is a proper solution of the Cyprus issue”.

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