President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades said measures should at last be taken against Turkey that has started putting down preconditions to take part in a dialogue to solve the Cyprus problem.

Speaking to reporters on Monday after the doxology at St. John’s Cathedral in Nicosia to mark the Greek Oxi Day, the President further added that in the negotiations, any issues concerning the internal aspects of the Cyprus problem will be dealt by the leaders of the two communities.

President Nicos Anastasiades will participate in a meeting with the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, that will take place in Berlin on November 25 to examine the next steps aiming at creating the conditions for the resumption of the negotiations.

Asked about his expectations from the meeting scheduled  for the 25th November  and if he believes it is appropriate to hold a five party conference, the President replied that it was always argued that the talks are Cyprus-owned, and in this sense, “it was always implied that issues concerning internal aspects will be addressed by the leaders of the two communities.”

The President underlined that the international aspect of the Cyprus problem is part of the overall issue and concerns the issue of guarantees, the presence of the occupation army and the guarantor powers. “The aim is to continue on the same basis”, he remarked.

However, Anastasiades added, “I see one of the guarantor powers, Turkey, setting conditions and terms on how it will participate in a dialogue”.

President Anastasiades said he hoped, “and the UNSG should know too, that it is high time that the necessary representations are made, the relevant measures are taken so that at last some (Turkey) will get back to reality”.

Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou, in remarks in Paphos, echoed the President`s statements. He said Anastasiades is ready for the meeting of the 25th November.

Speaking after the parade to mark the Oxi Day, the Spokesman said that President Anastasiades has been working for some time now for meaningful negotiations to begin.

He said he hoped that the Turkish stand will eventually change so that negotiations will ensue.

Invited to comment on the message from the Oxi day, President Anastasiades said “when Greeks are united, we can make great things”.

President Anastasiades said disasters occurred when there was division and partition. “What we need now that critical developments unfold before us is to unite forces so that justice can prevail, creating the conditions that will allow for the evolution of the Republic of Cyprus to a European, functional state that will secure the human rights and preconditions for peaceful co-existence and not to turn the island into any third power’s protectorate.

Oxi Day is a national public holiday and commemorated on the 28th October every year in Greece, Cyprus and by Greeks around the world. On this day back in 1940, the Prime Minister of Greece, Ioannis Metaxas, denied Benito Mussolini’s request to allow Italian troops to cross the border into Greece.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.  Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The last round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

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