“What I have to say to Mr. Tatar (Turkish Cypriot leader) and to Mr. Erdogan (Turkish President), with absolute respect for the Turkish Cypriot leader, is that there can be no other solution than the agreed framework and certainly our side will not discuss anything else”, he stressed in statements to journalists after a visit at the “Michalis Kailis” Military Camp in Nicosia, view of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
President Christodoulides said that it is expected that the UNSG will announce officially the appointment of his personal envoy adding that the Greek Cypriot side is in contact with the United Nations Secretariat.
He reiterated that the UN understands the importance that the personal envoy stays in Cyprus for as long as necessary, so that we can work towards the resumption of the Cyprus talks.
Moreover, he said that at the beginning of the new year he will announce the negotiating team and convene the National Council, immediately after the announcements are made by the UN Secretary General.
“We are ready, we have the political will, we have in mind how we are going to proceed because I am sure that the other side may move in directions, so that it leads the whole situation to an impasse to promote other options,” he said.
The mandate, he said, replying to questions, is defined by the UN resolutions adding that the UNSG is bound by the UN resolutions something that the UN has conveyed repeatedly.
Moreover, he said that they have asked the UN and there is no time frame. ‘What is important is to have political will, if there is political will we can proceed immediately”, he stressed.
Asked if there was anything new about the ship that carried humanitarian aid to Gaza, the President of the Republic said that final approval from Israel is awaited.
He welcomed the cooperation with Britain and added that Nicosia is in contact with London and the EU and is expecting now the Israeli side.
Other EU member states are also ready to assist, he noted.
The humanitarian aid is not linked to the ceasefire in Gaza, he told reporters replying to questions, adding that everyone wants to achieve a ceasefire but the absence of it does not mean that humanitarian aid cannot be provided.
“There are people there who are suffering and there must be unhindered humanitarian aid” he stressed.
Asked if a decision was taken as to where the British ship will sail, he said that this is one of the issues being discussed with Israel together with Britain, the US and the EU, adding that when there is a decision, they will announce it.
Nicosia’s effort, he said, is to use its status as an EU member state, but also its excellent relations with all neighboring states, and do everything possible, within its capabilities, to end the war as soon as possible and until the international community achieves this goal, to help address the tragic humanitarian consequences that arise every day.
Regarding the British Foreign Secretary’s visit to the region, he said that Nicosia is in constant contact with the British government and noted that the British Foreign Secretary had a telephone communication with the Cypriot Foreign Minister to visit the area.
Asked if the government is working on measures against the usurpation of properties in in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, the President said that indeed the government is preparing a bill with the involvement of the Legal Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He said that the bill will be presented next year.
Replying to other questions, the President said that there is a systematic attempt by the Turkish side to question the status of the buffer zone, adding that the issue was raised in yesterday’s meeting in the presence and the Chief of the National Guard.
“We evaluated the measures we have already taken,” he said, noting that there is daily continuous monitoring of the situation as it develops. President Christodoulides underlined that the priority is the safety of the citizens, recalling that he had visited the area of Agios Dometios.
During his visit at the “Michalis Kailis” Military Camp, the President was accompanied by the Minister of Defence and the Chief of the National Guard.
“For us there is no other choice, the current state of affairs cannot be the future of our country, it cannot be the future of the new generation of our country. Every day we see new faits accomplis, which remove or make difficult the prospects of resolving the Cyprus issue” he said during his visit at the camp.
He added that the existence of a strong National Guard is a necessity, not only for the Republic of Cyprus, but also for the EU and recalled the EU’s effort to strengthen the defence pillar of the Union, saying that Cyprus wants to play an important role in this.
On Wednesday, the President said, he had a very productive meeting with the Minister of Defence, the Chief of the National Guard, officials of the Ministry of Defence and the General Staff of the National Guard, during which they discussed issues of personnel, which is the backbone, as he said, of the National Guard, as well as the issue of military equipment and infrastructure.
He said that a new meeting will take place mid-January and said that strengthening the deterrent power of the National Guard is something for which the government is working very methodically without making any announcements.