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‘Near future decisive for Cyprus problem’

 

February 2017

The near future will be decisive to efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem, President Nicos Anastasiades said last Tuesday addressing the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

He said he was absolutely convinced that if all parties, and in particular Turkey, come up with a creative and constructive approach, the solution to the Cyprus problem could be achieved on the basis and within the framework of European principles and values.

He also reiterated his determination to work for a solution that will actually reunite Cyprus, will protect all citizens, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, creating a modern state fully compatible with its status as an EU member and will rise and create the prospects for peaceful coexistence among the inhabitants of the island.

Referring to the efforts to solve the Cyprus problem in the last 20 months, he said that despite the observed remarkable progress, there are still differences and disagreements on a number of issues, most notably those involving property. He noted that during recent months, the efforts of the government focused on the debate on two key chapters, territorial adjustments and Security and Guarantees.

Saying that without to ignore that the need for the safety of a community cannot be a threat to the other, the government has submitted a complete and comprehensive proposal that effectively addresses the concerns of both communities.

Referring to the convergences achieved, he said that the internal structure of the Republic will evolve on the basis of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality of the two communities.

The President also said that any military guarantees or worse, intervention rights of any third country towards a country member of the EU, were not necessary any more and were an anachronism.

Referring to Cyprus’ Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the CoE, he said the island will work even more intensively to highlight the role of the Council of Europe in meeting the major challenges facing Europe today.

"The major challenges facing Europe today, the economic crisis, terrorism, migration flows have fostered insecurity and uncertainty feelings to the citizens. They have unfortunately reintroduced disturbing phenomena such as xenophobic rhetoric and hate speech, the rise of populist and extremist elements," he said.

He added that "given the challenges that Europe is currently facing, it is time to engage in a creative dialogue with the citizens, to listen to their concerns and seek to jointly tackle them."

 

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