Cyprus welcomes UN readiness but peace climate negative

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Nicosia on Thursday welcomed the readiness of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to provide his good services for the resumption of Cyprus talks but warned Turkey was poisoning the climate.

In a written statement, government spokesman Kyriacos Koushos said Guterres replied to a letter from President Nicos Anastasiades declaring his “readiness for the resumption of talks” based on what has been agreed upon.

“The government welcomes the readiness of the Secretary General …based on all which has been agreed upon, with a clear reference to the mutual understanding achieved during the meeting of November 25, 2019, in Berlin, for a lasting solution.”

Koushos said the President has already submitted 21 proposals for specific confidence-building measures with priority given to Famagusta.

Guterres expressed his readiness to explore possibilities for a meeting in future between the two sides and the guarantor powers Greece, Turkey and the UK.

Environment not conducive

Anastasiades said he remains strongly committed to resuming the negotiating process but said for the talks to resume with realistic prospects of success, an environment of good faith needs to be created.

“And certainly not under conditions of intimidation or threats by Turkey”, he said, receiving on Thursday the credentials of the Ambassador of Chile, Ximena Carolina Ares Mora, the Ambassador of Argentina Sergio Daniel Urribarri and of Namibia Nada Kruger.

He said, regrettably, Turkey’s illegal drilling operations within our Exclusive Economic Zone run contrary to creating a positive climate that will enable the resumption of the negotiating process.

“Apart from escalating tensions in our turbulent region, the illegal and provocative actions by Turkey not only adversely affect our efforts to resume the peace process but they leave no room for bringing about the necessary conditions for all parties to engage in a results-oriented dialogue.

We do hope that Turkey will finally choose to adopt a more pragmatic and constructive approach and abide by International Law.”

Anastasiades said Turkey’s decision to open of the fenced ghost town of Varosha, in yet another flagrant violation of UN decisions that “heighten tensions and undermine chances for a resumption of peace talks”.