Cyprus on counter-offensive after Geneva stalemate

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Nicosia will launch an international awareness campaign on the Cyprus problem to gather support in buffering the Turkish side, insisting on a two-state solution presented at the Geneva summit, President Nicos Anastasiades said Tuesday.

He said what Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots advocate are “outside the parameters” of the United Nations resolutions and the decisions of the Security Council and the terms of the mandate they have received, and the good offices of the UN Secretary-General must offer in that direction.

“Therefore…the effort is to have corresponding reactions from the UN and the EU, but also countries that can and have the potential to exert influence on Turkey”.

Anastasiades suggested other countries have not calculated the cost for the Turkish Cypriots of Turkey leading them into isolation.

“It is something that is not possible, he added; it is something that cannot be accepted neither by the international community nor by the EU,” he said.

Anastasiades also said he was surprised by Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar’s comments.

He said one of the Turkish Cypriot side arguments during the summit in Geneva was they are co-founders of the Republic of Cyprus.

On the other hand, President Anastasiades added, “he considered that I insulted the Turkish Cypriots because I called them my fellow citizens”.

“I would like to ask him one thing: Should 97,000 Turkish Cypriots who have Cypriot identity, a Cypriot passport and enjoy as much as European citizens, be ashamed?

“How much more should his (Tatar) associates, who also have a Cypriot identity card or a Cypriot passport, be ashamed?

“I don’t want to get involved in controversy, but patience has its limits.”

Last week, the United Nations failed to bridge disagreements over restarting peace talks with the rival sides standing their ground.

“The truth is that at the end of our efforts, we have not yet found enough common ground to allow for the resumption of formal negotiations,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told a news conference in Geneva after a three-day summit.

“As you can imagine, this was not an easy meeting,” he said.

Guterres said the United Nations would make a fresh attempt in “probably two or three months”.