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Greece and Cyprus Forge Common Front for Geneva UN Talks

Greece Cyprus
Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades during their meeting in Athens. Credit: Greek government

Greece and Cyprus agreed to coordinate their efforts during a meeting in Athens on Wednesday between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades.

The two leaders focused their discussions on the upcoming five-party talks that will take place in Geneva next week on the Cyprus issue.

A spokesperson for the UN Information Service (UNIS) said Tuesday that the talks are expected to be held from Tuesday to Thursday next week, and UN head Antonio Guterres is expected to be there with both Cypriot parties and the guarantor countries – Turkey, Greece, and the UK.

The Greek Prime Minister noted that the context of the discussions that will take place in Geneva is absolutely clear as “it is based on all previous decisions of the (United Nation’s) Security Council.”

Greece Cyprus
Credit: Greek government

Greece, Cyprus insist on federation model

“The solution can be found only in the context of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, a single sovereignty, a single citizenship, a single international representation and, of course, with the withdrawal of the occupying armies, but also the elimination of the anachronistic framework of guarantees,” Mitsotakis underlined.

“It is absolutely clear that we must be able to determine in these difficult discussions what is the starting point from which we begin. That is why today, as we did in Cyprus, we will be given the opportunity to coordinate our actions in view of these demanding discussions, to which we always come with a good will to find a solution that will be fair, functional and viable and will benefit all Cypriots, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.”

The foreign ministers of Greece and Cyprus were also taking part in the meeting at the Maximos Mansion.

On his part, President Anastasiades said that the efforts are focused on finding a way for both communities to feel safe.

“We are not trying to usurp anyone’s rights. Our effort is to find a way for both communities (on the island of Cyprus) to feel safe and for the human rights of both communities to be guaranteed.”

Anastasiades described as important “the effort made by the UN Secretary General after 3.5 years to convene the conference to look into the issue in order to have a dialogue and solve the problem.”

He also agreed that “the framework to be negotiated is determined by the UN resolutions, the decisions of the UN Security Council, as well as the principles and values of the European Union, and were last set out in the efforts to resume the 2019 dialogue in Berlin in the presence of the UN Secretary General and Mr. Akinci.”

Turkey pushes for two-state solution on Cyprus

Last week, Turkey’s Foreign Minister reaffirmed that the upcoming Geneva talks on the Cyprus issue would be informal.

“The meeting in Geneva will be informal. There will be no new negotiations to be held there,” Mevlut Cavusoglu had said at a joint news conference with Ersin Tatar, president of the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), following their talks in Nicosia.

“We believe that we will no longer waste time on the federal solution and that new ideas and new vision should be discussed,” he said.

The Geneva talks will seek a common ground for negotiations, Cavusoglu said, adding: “We definitely and certainly will not continue where we left off at Crans-Montana (talks). This is out of the question.”

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