Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades will have a meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Permanent Representative of the Republic to the UN Kornelios Korneliou said on Thursday evening, addressing a dinner hosted in his honour by the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations, the International Coordinating Committee “Justice for Cyprus” (PSEKA) and the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC).
Referring to developments on the Cyprus problem, Korneliou who assumed his duties as the Permanent Representative to the UN recently, said that we are at a difficult juncture, “but this will not hinder us from continuing our efforts so that deliberations bear fruit,”
He said personally he is not very optimistic from the messages received by Ankara, citing Turkish President Recep Tayiip Erdogan`s stance against European countries such as the Netherlands, Germany and France. “He has no problem adopting policies against us or Greece. But this will not hinder us to continue our effort,” he added.
Korneliou said that his first priority as Permanent Representative of the Republic to the UN is the Cyprus problem, adding that as long as it remains unsolved we cannot focus on any other issue.
He noted that “the fact that we forge alliances with other member states either of the region or other regions, within the UN, gives us the right to ask for their support on the Cyprus problem.”
Korneliou requested the support of Cypriots living in the US, expressing the belief that “in the end we will make it.”
PSEKA President Philip Christopher assured the new Permanent Representative that all Cypriot diaspora organisations in the US will stand by him.
He expressed hope that the new US administration will change the American policy on the Cyprus problem.
President of the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations Kyriakos Papastylianou, Greek Consul General in New York Konstantinos Koutras, and Cypriot Consul General Vasilis Philippou also addressed the event, welcoming Korneliou and wishing him every success to his new duties.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. 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.