The President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades has said that when there is the will, there is the way and the time to find a negotiated settlement by the end of the year.
At the same time, the President pointed out that conditions at the negotiations must not be such that could act as a deterrent to the peace effort, instead of leading to a positive outcome, adding that “if we are led to conferences when circumstances are not ripe, they will not yield the result we are seeking.”
“I expect everybody to show commitment to our objective and be ready to respect the concerns of each of the two communities in Cyprus. We have already done this. There are some issues which continue to be very sensitive for the Greek Cypriot community and I expect that mutual understanding will give us the opportunity, through creative ideas, to find a way out,” he told the press replying to questions after a meeting in New York on Sunday afternoon with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The meeting, which lasted about 20 minutes, was also attended by Cyprus’ Permanent Representative to the UN Nicos Emiliou, the Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides and Ban’s Special Advisor on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide.
The President said he had a comprehensive and creative meeting with the Secretary General.
He said at first they talked about the agenda of the General Assembly and assured Ban that Cyprus will, by the end of the year, complete the ratification of the agreement on climate change.
Referring to the Cyprus problem, he said they talked about the state of play in the UN-facilitated peace talks, currently underway between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities with a view to reuniting the country, which has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.
“We talked about the current phase of the negotiations, with great impartiality and far from any blame game,” Anastasiades told the press, noting that he explained to Ban where things stand, saying that there are still pending issues that need to be addressed.
“I stressed the need for everybody to be particularly careful not to create any circumstances which may, instead of leading us to a positive result, prove to be a deterrent to our efforts for a solution,” the President said, adding that “If we do not focus on the substance and the concerns that exist, we might be led to conferences which, should they prove to be premature, will not yield the results we want to achieve.”
The President said that he was pleased to have found “absolute understanding” from the Secretary General about everything he had outlined during their meeting, in the presence of his advisor Eide.
Asked if he handed Ban any document with the views of the Greek Cypriot side and the six negotiating chapters, he replied “this will be done at the right time.”
In his remarks, the President clarified that the Secretary General did not hear anything “unpleasant” from him.
“The Secretary General did not hear anything unpleasant apart from the reality of the situation and the reality does not mean it is unpleasant. There are difficulties and that is why everybody, if they want to help find a solution in Cyprus, must focus on the actual difficulties so that all sides show understanding to the concerns of each other. Especially those that have an important role to play, (concerns) which led the Greek Cypriot community to reject the Annan plan (a UN-proposed solution plan),” in 2004 the President stressed.
Replying to questions, he said “what we are seeking is to continue the fruitful and constructive efforts in order to find a comprehensive solution.”
Asked if he believes that there is enough time to find a solution by the end of the year, he replied: “When there is the will, there is the way and the time.”