The Republic of Cyprus has already prepared draft wording which could be included in the conclusions of a European Council in relation to its proposal for more active involvement of the EU in the Cyprus issue and the possible appointment of an envoy.

Sources told the Cyprus News Agency that the issue is being discussed with Cyprus’ partners, however Nicosia points out that at this moment what is of utmost importance is to let diplomacy play its role, in order to reach an agreement with EU institutions and to get those member states’ consensus so that they could push in this direction.

Cyprus says that the core of the proposal lays in the personality to assume this role and notes that the name that will be decided may also unlock the entire effort to resume the peace talks, stalled since 2017.

Names were put on the table with the German Chancellor, but also in the President’s contacts with his French counterpart and the Prime Minister of the Netherlands. With regard specifically to Angela Merkel, former Chancellor of Germany, the sources noted that as President Christodoulides has already said, the name came up as he was replying to a question by the press.

Nicosia’s proposal for a more active EU involvement found support  and Berlin is expressing a willingness to help and understands, as diplomatic sources say, that there is currently no other active initiative from anyone that might have propsects.

“There is a prolonged deadlock and we respond with our own initiative. This shows our credibility and our efforts to bring the other side to the negotiating table to resume talks where they left off in Crans Montana. But (we want) the other side come to substantive talks and not to engage in parallel monologues”, diplomatic sources told the Cyprus News Agency.

Cyprus also believes that mobilising the EU essentially activates the UN to appoint an envoy, an issue that has been pending for a long time. Nicosia also believes that September and the UN General Assembly could be the moment that has its own importance, but emphasises that it does not enter into the logic of timetables.

“We want to be able to convince of our proposal and not to set timetables. We are simply saying that it should be done as soon as possible,” sources say.

The US view the proposal positively and do not see the EU’s role as something negative. Britain was also informed of the proposal, and in June the Foreign Minister will travel to London for contacts, where the proposal will be discussed again and questions will be answered.

Energy is also discussed in the meetings of the President and the Foreign Minister with their counterparts, and not necessarily linked to the Cyprus issue or Nicosia’s proposal, but pointing out all the benefits for all sides.

Nicosia wants to have a bigger impact in our region and beyond, and to have a footprint bigger than its size and to this end actions and strategies are formed.

Since March 1st, a total of 11 trips have been made, the Foreign Minister had 29 bilateral contacts with his counterparts and there were 8 visits of foreign officials to Cyprus. In the European Councils and FACs, the Ukrainian issue is high on the agenda, with Cyprus having a clear position, while for Turkey the effort is not to be monothematic in its approach, not to focus on this factor solely.

For the Ukrainian issue in particular, Cyprus is not a member state that complicates the situation for sanctions, and in many occasions its position may be more advanced than other larger states with other interests.

Sources told the Cyprus News Agency that sanctions surveillance and circumvention by third countries is becoming a big issue in all the debates.

Nicosia also believes that now the EU should have a role and a say in Syria, especially after the recent decision of the Arab League.

As regards sanctions Nicosia has made it clear and continues to do so that it will not cover up for anyone. Diplomatic sources make it clear that the UK and US sanctions do not target the Republic of Cyprus but individuals and companies.

“The Republic of Cyprus is not at the centre of the matter. The sanctions have a purpose. And the US told us that this tool of sanctions is used in wartime,” a diplomatic source said.

Nicosia also received a request to provide information to third countries, but things were already in a mature state and its assistance was not necessary. But sources said that we need to restore two-way information and not learn about some things when it’s too late.

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.

Leave a Reply