Changing the basis of a Cyprus solution is “out of the question” not just for the Greek Cypriot side but also for the international community, President Nikos Christodoulides said on Friday.
He was replying to journalists’ questions upon his arrival at the annual meeting of PwC Cyprus in Limassol.
Asked whether the programme of his trip to New York has been finalised, President Christodoulides said that the programme has been made public and it does not include so far a joint meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar.
“We are in contact with the UN Secretariat and the European Union. Although it is not usual to have meetings in New York with European leaders, I have arranged a meeting with both Mr Michel and the President of the European Commission, precisely to see how they too can help us through contacts with the Secretary General,” he added.
Asked about Tatar’s position that he will not take part in a joint meeting with the President of the Republic and the fact that he seems to be insisting on it in the context of his views about changing the basis of the Cyprus solution, the President said that changing the basis of the solution “is out of the question”, adding that this is not just the position of the Greek Cypriot side but also of the international community.
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.
In a move to resume stalled peace talks from where they were left-off in Crans Montana, President of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulides introduced an initiative, aiming for a more active EU role, always under UN auspices.
The Turkish Cypriot side insists on conditions before engaging in any new round of negotiations, which, contrary to UN resolutions, point to a two-state solution on the island.
In his latest report on his Good Offices mission in Cyprus, the UN Secretary-General notes that an important step forward would be an agreement with the sides on an appointment of a United Nations envoy, who could explore ways to reach common ground towards resuming negotiations for a lasting settlement in Cyprus.
In its conclusions, last June, the European Council says it remains fully committed to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, within the UN framework, while noting that the EU is ready to play an active role in supporting all stages of the UN-led peace process, with all appropriate means at its disposal.