Statements by the General Secretary of AKEL S. Stefanou on developments in Varosha:
“Time is running out dangerously…”
2 May 2023, ‘Astra’ radio
“The government’s policy is focusing EU-Turkish issues, which is not enough to create momentum for the resumption of the talks…”
The passage of time without a solution of the Cyprus problem has many implications and consequences and what we are now seeing unfolding in Varosha are just some of these consequences, the General Secretary of AKEL pointed out to ‘Astra’ radio.
Stefanos Stefanou indicated that there is no other way to deal with them other than the solution of the Cyprus problem, as the occupying power, Turkey, is exploiting the deadlock to impose new fait accompli.
Unfortunately, he added, the Greek Cypriot side is considered to be jointly responsible for this deadlock.
S.Stefanou reiterated that we should focus on trying to create momentum for the resumption of the talks from where they left off at Crans-Montana by preserving the convergences that have been recorded so far and negotiating within the Guterres Framework.
To this end, the General Secretary of AKEL said, it is important that we have before us a positive agenda that also motivates Turkey to convince it to come back to the negotiating table, without going beyond and violating our “red lines” on the Cyprus problem.
S.Stefanou reiterated that AKEL has tabled specific proposals even during the term of the previous government, which it submitted to the current President on energy issues, which could operate as an incentive, but it seems, he stressed, that this government is oriented towards the EU-Turkish issues, which are not enough to create momentum for the resumption of the talks.
The General Secretary of AKEL stressed that it is THE Greek Cypriot side which has to create the prospect of the resumption of the talks because if we expect Turkey or any third parties to do so, this will not happen.
It is obvious, he noted, that the UN Secretary General is also not going to take another initiative on the Cyprus problem as he has not done so since 2017. He added that a lot of work is needed to convince [the international community] that the Greek Cypriot side has the will for a solution.
We do not believe, the General Secretary of AKEL pointed out, that things are over, but time is indeed running dangerously out and that the approach that argues that we will one day find a better opportunity for a solution is completely erroneous.