I sincerely regret coming back on an issue that shouldn’t even have been created.

I am referring to yesterday’s attack launched by Mr. Anastasiades against “some” who according to him are supposedly demanding that he should make unacceptable concessions; an attack against “some” who are supposedly exonerating Turkey and making things extremely difficult for the Greek Cypriot side because of their criticism.

I’ll make it clear from the very outset that these attacks do not affect us. They do not concern us because they have nothing to do with the positions AKEL expresses. I will therefore tell Mr. Anastasiades that only last week I challenged him in the presence of the political leaders at the National Council meeting to say when AKEL had supposedly asked him to make concessions on issues of principle. And his reply was to absolve himself of any responsibility about the claim. I subsequently told him that you say various things publicly to influence public opinion, you and your associates, and in private meetings you deny that you are hinting and implying that AKEL is asking you to make concessions or whatever.

So, let me reiterate what AKEL said yesterday too. Namely that Turkey will find itself in a difficult position if it is forced to express its position on the core aspects of the Cyprus problem; if it is forced to take a stand on the important aspects of security, territorial issues, property, effective participation and on the subject of a single positive Turkish Cypriot vote on which the Secretary-General of the UN shields us. The only way Turkey will be forced to take a position and be exposed is through the resumption of meaningful negotiations.

This is what we have been saying to Mr. Anastasiades for two and a half years. For two and a half years, we have been issuing warnings that the prolonged deadlock that Mr. Anastasiades too has led us to – the primary responsibility lies with Turkey and we repeatedly make this clear – but the government also bears responsibilities for the protracted deadlock. We have been warning, therefore, for two and a half years now that if we continue on this path the issue of a two-state solution will be raised pressingly. This would be a disastrous choice for Cyprus, Turkey will provoke us in the Exclusive Economic Zone and we see all these developments occurring. And now that we see them occuring in practice, the government claims its AKEL’s fault because we warned of all these things happening and not the fault of those who through their actions and handlings, permitted all that we were warning about would happen.

And the ones doing so are not us, I repeat, it is Mr. Anastasiades and his associates through their handling of the Cyprus problem. They are the ones who are relieving Turkey of responsibilities. They are the ones permitting it not to be obliged to take a position on the burning issues of the Cyprus problem


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