President Anastasiades: Cyprus Committed to Peace Talks, But Not at Gunpoint



Nicos Anastasiades addresses the UN Generaal Assembly on Thursday via video. Credit: UN

President Nicos Anastasiades told the UN General Assembly on Thursday that Cyprus stands ready to resume talks on the reunification of the island nation.

He warned however, that he would not negotiate under conditions of intimidation or threats.

“For the (Cyprus peace) talks to resume with realistic prospects for success, it is imperative to create an environment which will be conducive for constructive and good faith negotiations… not under conditions of intimidation or threats.”

Turkey has illegally dispatched survey vessels within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, in areas where Nicosia has licenced to multinationals to explore for oil and gas.

“In addition to Turkey’s continuous occupation of Cyprus, we are witnessing a series of provocative actions which run contrary to International Law and the Law of the Sea through illegal drillings in our EEZ or by threats for the imminent opening of the fenced city of Varosha,” Anastasiades said.

Leaders from the Greek and Turkish communities last met three years ago at a UN-facilitated conference in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.

“Unfortunately, despite our positive engagement and the submission of credible and realistic written proposals, the negotiations were unsuccessful due to Turkey’s inflexible stance and insistence on maintaining the anachronistic Treaty of Guarantee and the right of intervention, as well as a permanent presence of troops,” said Anastasiades, whose pre-recorded speech was broadcast in the General Assembly Hall.

“Ever since, and despite our disappointment, we have repeatedly conveyed our commitment to immediately resume direct talks for a settlement of the Cyprus problem from where we left off at Crans-Montana.”