Schaefer: “Cyprus solution not only important for the region but for Europe as well”

The solution of the Cyprus problem is not only significant for the region but for Europe as well, the Spokesperson of the German Foreign Office Martin Schaefer has said.

Replying to questions about the Cyprus talks, currently underway in Geneva, and the level of representation of the three guarantor powers (Greece, Turkey, UK) during the Conference for Cyprus set to begin January 12, the Spokesperson said that he does not think that it is necessary for the heads of states or governments to participate at the talks for a final solution.

He recalled the talks for the Iranian nuclear program, where not even the FMs of the relevant parties were present.

Regarding the participation of the EU, Schaefer said that it could contribute to the resolution of some issues related to the acquis communautaire.

The Spokesperson also pointed out that it is important for all sides to have a positive stance and to be ready to support the measures that are necessary.

He called upon Athens and Ankara to respect the compromises of the two communities in Cyprus, including the issues of security and presence of Turkish occupying troops.

He said that difficult issues will be on the table of the negotiations and expressed the view that both leaders in Cyprus are willing to make difficult and painful compromises to overcome the division of the island.

Replying to a question whether one could expect a solution this week, Schaefer said: “The menu is ready, but let us wait to see if all courses will be served.”

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci decided on December 1st 2016 to resume their UN-backed negotiations and to meet in Geneva between 9-11 January.

On the 11th they decided to present their respective maps. According to their decision, a Conference on Cyprus will be convened from the 12th of January. The guarantor powers -UK, Greece and Turkey- will also participate at the Conference.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Anastasaides and Akinci have been engaged in UN-backed talks since May 2015, with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.

source: CNA