Any progress in Switzerland depends on Turkey’s will and now is the time for Turkey, said President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades.
Speaking at a memorial service for the heroes of Spilion community on Sunday, the President said that the significance of the Switzerland talks do not alter key positions on the parameters for a just, viable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem.
He also said that irrespective of the presidential elections next year, he will continue to work with determination to achieve a just, viable and functional solution that will benefit all people on the island.
Referring to the talks that are scheduled to start on 28th June at Crans Montana, he said the aim is to have discussions on security and guarantees and these discussions are based on international law securing the complete independence of the Cypriot state, without anachronistic guarantees or third party rights and presence of foreign troops.
He also sought to appease concern, noting “I have repeatedly said I am aware of the lines and limitations through which we can negotiate…and meet or respond to the concerns of Greek Cypriots without disregarding those of Turkish Cypriots”.
President Anastasiades said that any progress in Switzerland depends on Turkey’s will. “Now is the time for Turkey on security and guarantees and withdrawal of Turkish troops and territorial adjustment”, he said, adding that “there it will become evident if rhetoric is consistent with actions at the negotiating table”.
Referring to the missing persons issue, he pledged continued support to the Committee on Missing Persons, noting it is a high priority for the government.
At the same time, he said it is clear that there cannot be a solution to the missing persons issue without the fundamental and effective help of Turkey.
The Conference on Cyprus will reconvene on June 28 at the political level, under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The Conference will take place with the participation of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, as well as Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom as guarantor powers, and in the presence of the European Union as an observer.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Anastasiades and Akinci have been engaged in UN-led talks since May 2015 with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.