President does not preclude meeting with UN Secretary General in New York

President Nicos Anastasiades did not preclude on Wednesday a meeting with the Secretary General in New York, next week, where he will be the keynote speaker at a Forum on Cyprus, on the 22nd of March.

He said it was natural to request a meeting with the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, when in New York.

At the same time he described as baseless reports in the Turkish Cypriot press on a trilateral meeting in New York, with the Secretary General and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci.

“As it is well known, my presence in New York is not related to the Cyprus problem.

During my stay there I do not preclude the possibility for a meeting with the Secretary General” the President told the press after a meeting on Wednesday morning with the Executive Committee of SEK.

He said that he will be in New York as the President of the state and “it is natural to inform the Secretary General if his programme permits it”.

The President said that reports in the Turkish Cypriot press referring to a trilateral meeting in New York with the Secretary General and the Turkish Cypriot leader are baseless and that at least so far there has not been such a proposal by anyone.

Anastasiades reiterated that he is determined and willing to restart the dialogue immediately and recalled that he has urged the Turkish Cypriot leader to avoid blame game.

He went on replying to statements of the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who said that the Greek Cypriot side wants `Enosis`, that is union with Greece, noting that Turkey must abandon this rhetoric and the excuses and “focus positively on how a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, can give a functional, modern state”.

He said that the Parliament`s “untimely and unfortunate” decision does not change the policy of either the President or the political parties, noting that the National Council immediately after the Parliament`s vote unanimously rejected both `Enosis` and the division of the island and insisted on the resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the Security Council, as well as the decisions of the National Council providing for a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality.

If a reference of a few minutes is regarded as a change of policy what can one say about the celebrations of July the 20th, the day of the Turkish invasion to Cyprus and of November the 15th on which the Turkish Cypriot side celebrates the secession and its attempt to establish another state, Anastasiades said.

“Who are those who truly seek the solution? Those who participate in the dialogue and submit constructive proposals or those who while promising that they will in practice demonstrate their intentions at an international or a multilateral conference, instead they put forward prerequisites for the continuation of the Conference on Cyprus? Prerequisites such as the four freedoms and effective participation”.

Anastasiades said that those who are truly interested in a solution, must stop inviting him to participate in the dialogue and noted that “it wasn`t me who left the negotiating table”.

The President said that he has requested the implementation of a specific methodology in the talks believing that if there is good intention there will be results.

“I don`t think that it is through the initiatives of third parties that we can achieve progress” he said, warning everybody not even consider arbitration.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

UN led talks between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities resumed in May 2015 with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.

The talks were interrupted in mid February by the Turkish Cypriot side, which demands that a decision passed by the Cypriot Parliament relating to a 1950 referendum on union with Greece is revoked, claiming this indicates a shift in the Greek Cypriot side`s goal for a federal solution.

The amendment provides that there will be a very brief reference to the referendum at schools.

President Anastasiades has described the House decision as wrong and called on the leader of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, who walked out of the talks, to return to the negotiating table to discuss pending issues with a view to reach a mutually acceptable agreement to reunite the country.

Source CNA
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