Statements by the General Secretary of AKEL S.Stefanou:
The appointment of a UN envoy is a positive development
It should have the clear objective of breaking the deadlock and resuming negotiations
Sunday 15 October 2023, “Haravgi” newspaper
AKEL considers the reports that the appointment of a UN envoy on the Cyprus problem is to be announced soon as a positive development, said the General Secretary of AKEL Stefanos Stefanou.
Speaking to the ‘Astra’ Morning Edition program, S.Stefanou said that AKEL has been informed that the Turkish Cypriot side has accepted the appointment of an envoy and for AKEL this will be a very positive development. He also stressed that AKEL will wait to see what the terms of the UN envoy’s mandate will be, because, S.Stefanou said, this will be important for what the envoy’s mission will be.
In AKEL’s perception, S.Stefanou noted, the envoy’s mission should be clear, namely that he/she will work to break the deadlock and resume the talks from where they had remained in 2017 at Crans Montana and continue the negotiations on the basis of the Guterres Framework, preserving the convergences that have been recorded so far. Moreover, he added, we will also have to see who will be appointed as the envoy.
What we should bear in mind, the General Secretary of AKEL said, is that the envoy was given up to 2017 and the problem of appointing an envoy with such a long time with no such appointment has existed since 2017. This, he continued, is another negative outcome of the collapse of the Crans Montana conference and what subsequently happened and how we came out of that collapse.
The pressing issue in this case too, S.Stefanou reiterated, is to see how the deadlock is broken, for which initiatives will need to be taken by the Greek Cypriot side, not because the Greek Cypriot side will determine the course of events, but as far as it is in the hands of the Greek Cypriot side and the Republic of Cyprus in general, to try to create momentum to break the deadlock and to be able to continue the negotiations. As to how to achieve this objective, Stefanos Stefanou stressed that AKEL’s position is well known and has been reiterated many times in public to the people and to the President of the Republic of Cyprus himself.
A steadfast policy without footnotes must be pursued
To win back its credibility, the Greek Cypriot side must proceed in four directions, the General Secretary of AKEL underlined.
First, consistency to the agreed solution of Bizonal, Bicommunal Federation with political equality.
Second, it must be firm without any asterisks and footnotes that we must continue where we had remained in 2017 by negotiating the Guterres Framework.
Third, he added, the Greek Cypriot side should provide incentives to Turkey without violating any “red lines”, such as the energy issue. The General Secretary of AKEL pointed out that the recent statement by Turkey’s Foreign Minister on energy issues, in addition to being unacceptable, highlights that Turkey is interested in energy issues.
Fourth, the government should announce the measures for the Turkish Cypriots that it had promised.