A proposal by the President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, on a package of Confidence Building Measures (CBM) is mutually beneficial, while aiming at a positive climate for the resumption of Cyprus talks, Government Spokesman Marios Pelekanos told CNA, expressing regret over the rejection of the proposals by the Turkish Cypriot side.

Invited to comment on a relevant announcement, issued on Tuesday by the office of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Pelekanos said “it is with sorrow that we were informed over the content of the announcement of the Turkish Cypriot leadership, by which they are rejecting a proposal by the President of the Republic for substantial CBMs.”

The proposal, Pelekanos goes on, “is mutually beneficial for the two communities and is aiming at creating a positive climate, leading to the resumption of a creative dialogue for the settlement of the Cyprus problem.”

The rejection is merely indicative of the intransigence of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side, the Spokesman says and notes that this acts to the detriment of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, while undermining efforts for a peaceful resolution of the Cyprus problem.

Moreover, it reveals the true goals of Turkey and of those who, instead of serving Turkish Cypriot interests, resonate Ankara’s pursuits, Pelekanos added.

Relevant to these ascertains is also the protocol of economic cooperation, signed recently between Turkey and the regime in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, the Spokesman concludes.

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

President Anastasiades conveyed his proposal on Confidence Building Measures through a letter to the Turkish Cypriot leader and the UN, last May, including provisions for the operation by the UN of the airport located in Turkish-occupied Tymbou, and the return of legal residents to Varosha, the fenced off part of Famagusta.

The proposed package of measures also provides for European Commission involvement in trade through Famagusta port and the implementation by Ankara of the Additional Protocol, allowing Cypriot-flagged vessels to access ports in Turkey. An escrow account for revenues from hydrocarbon activities, to be accessed by the Turkish Cypriot community is also proposed, provided that Cyprus and Turkey delineate their exclusive economic zones.

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