Changing Cyprus reunification “out of the question”

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Changing the basis of a Cyprus solution is “out of the question” not just for the Greek Cypriot side but also for the international community, President Nikos Christodoulides said Friday.

Asked whether the programme of his trip to New York has been finalised, President Christodoulides said it does not include a joint meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar.

“We are in contact with the UN Secretariat and the European Union.

“Although it is not usual to have meetings in New York with European leaders, I have arranged a meeting with both Mr Michel and the President of the European Commission precisely to see how they too can help us through contacts with the Secretary-General,” Christodoulides told reporters.

Tatar has said he is not interested in a joint meeting with the President and the UN chief.

He insists that the basis of a Cyprus solution should be one of two separate states and reunification under a federal roof as proposed by the UN.

Christodoulides said changing the parameters of Cyprus talks “is out of the question” for Nicosia and the international community.

The last round of UN-sponsored negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana, ended inconclusively.

In a move to resume stalled peace talks from where they were left off in Crans Montana, Christodoulides introduced an initiative for a more active EU role.

The Turkish Cypriot side insists on conditions before engaging in any new round of negotiations, which, contrary to UN resolutions, point to a two-state solution on the island.

In his Good Offices mission in Cyprus report, the UN Secretary-General said an important step forward would be an agreement with the sides to appoint a United Nations envoy, who could explore ways to reach common ground towards resuming negotiations.

Christodoulides will meet  UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York on September 22.

He will be in New York between September 16 and 23 to address the 78th UN General Assembly on September 20.