Anastasiades must realize that the Cyprus problem cannot be handled on the basis of tactical games and expediency
President’s irresponsible and half-baked proposal not only does not tackle the substance of the problems, but adds to them
The General Secretary of AKEL replies to journalists’ questions
AKEL C.C. Press Office,  November 2018, Nicosia
The Foreign Minister expressed his optimism that there will be a conclusion on the terms of reference that will lead to a resumption of negotiations soon, after his visit to New York. Do you see this occurring or do you consider that President Anastassiades’ latest proposals, as developments are evolving, are making the situation difficult?

AK: We have not been briefed at all on the issue. Nor that an agreement on the terms of reference is imminent. What I will say is that Mr. Anastasiades had to provide an answer to a simple and specific question from the Secretary General. The Secretary General set the political framework, the procedural issue, and demanded that the political will should be declared in practice, not just in words.

Instead of responding to the UN Secretary-General’s simple demand with a yes, a clear yes, without any footnotes and conditions, the President of the Republic – and I will use a football term here – tried to kick the ball into touch and bring back something else to the pitch. An irresponsible and half-baked proposal, which not only does not tackle the essence of the problems, but on the contrary adds to the existing ones.
And what is the result now? For almost two months we have been engaged as a Greek Cypriot community, but also as a Turkish Cypriot community, in a discussion without substance, because the President has so far not given any substance to what he is proposing. We are losing precious time instead of focusing on the substance and I am very afraid that in the end we will conclude that it was just words – forgive me for the expression I shall say – empty words, coffee shop talk. In the end, that is precisely what Mr. Anastasiades has proposed.
It is imperative that we concentrate on the substance of the issues and to fully realize the critical and crucial point we are going through with regards the future and prospect of our country and people. Mr. Anastasiades must realize that the Cyprus problem cannot be handled on the basis of tactical games and expediency, but on the basis of the need at long last to liberate this country and reunite it. And the way to reunite our homeland is very simple.
For 41 years now, the entire international community, but also here in Cyprus too, we have taken the decision that this way is the solution of the federation with two communities and two regions, two zones. Two geographical zones. Things are very simple if we genuinely want to solve the Cyprus problem. I say simple in the sense of focusing on the substance. From there onwards, if we do not manage to solve it, if we operate with consistency to our goal with correct approaches and tactics then if the Cyprus problem is not solved, it will be apparent clearly that Turkey will bear the full responsibility.
Unfortunately, Mr. Anastasiades hasn’t managed to do neither one, nor the other. Quite the opposite, he has removed us very far from the solution of the Cyprus problem.
Will you go to the National Council next Monday with some proposals? The President in his press conference addressed a call for co-formulation…

AK: Honestly, one truly wonders about the absurdity of their logic. What do I mean by that? We disagree with this move made by Mr. Anastasiades and he tells us to bring him proposals to co-formulate his own proposal. Given that it is his own proposal how we will co-formulate it since we disagree with it? Honestly, one really wonders about this absurd logic.
For 15 months now – 16 months since the failure at Crans Montana – AKEL has been insisting that there is only one way to move forward. We should respond to what the UN Secretary-General has requested with the report he submitted in September 2017 and which he has repeated in several reports since then. We have nothing more to propose to Mr. Anastasiades. AKEL’s position is simple and very clear.

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