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President of Cyprus: 'dialogue with Turks in itself is an achievement'


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President of Cyprus: 'dialogue with Turks in itself is an achievement'

For some insight into the Greek Cypriot perspective on the Geneva talks on reuniting Cyprus, our correspondent at the negotiations, Efi Koutsokosta, spoke to the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades.

Efi Koutsokosta, Euronewsَ: “Before the conference you had high expectations, but ultimately there was just a decision on the process and your conclusion that only the Greek-Cypriot side came with a complete proposal on the table. This means that the other side didn’t want a solution as much?”

Nicos Anastasiades, President of Cyprus: “First of all we didn’t come with high expectations. What we wanted was for dialogue to begin. And this has been achieved; firstly, regarding the territorial changes, with the submission of the maps, even if we disagree. But it’s the first time something like this has happened and, with regard to the guarantees, it’s the first time that Turkey has participated in a dialogue on the abolition of guarantees, withdrawal of the troops of occupation. So, we can speak of dialogue.”

Euronewsَ: “In relation to the guarantees and security, which is the big issue of the negotiations, we saw once again the big gap between the sides. President Erdogan said that his troops are never going to leave Cyprus and they’ll remain as a guarantor. So, are you still optimistic about the prospect of a solution?”

Nicos Anastasiades, President of Cyprus: “I think we shouldn’t base our judgement on statements, however negative they are, but rather on the result, the final result. If the Turkish position remains as it is, it means they don’t want a solution, they don’t go for a solution.”

Euronewsَ: “The EU wants a new role in the negotiations and you want it to have one, but judging by a disagreement between the Turkish foreign minister and Mr Juncker, Turkey seems not to agree. How far can you go?”

Nicos Anastasiades, President of Cyprus: “This disagreement didn’t happen over the substance, but over issues concerning the process, whether it should be present as a participant or as an interested party, or as an observer. So I don’t think we should focus on that. I have to say I’m fully satisfied not only about the presence of the EU, which is for the first time, but also for the interventions of the EU. Because it doesn’t get involved in what’s being discussed between the two parties, but it does want to have a say on whatever is agreed between the two sides on the internal governance and the structure of the state, that it is compatible with EU law on security issues, within the context of the political security of the EU.”

Euronewsَ: “Is it a matter of months or years for a solution?”

Nicos Anastasiades, President of Cyprus: “For me it would be a matter of days but I can’t ignore the difficulties and therefore what I say is the sooner the better for the Cypriot people.”

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