Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said on Monday that he is not as optimistic as he would like to be about the informal tripartite meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, set to take place on September 27 in New York.
Speaking during a press conference in New York, President Anastasiades referred to the meeting he will have with the UN Secretary General, as well as with other state leaders, making special reference to the tripartite informal meeting he will have with the UNSG and Turkish Cypriot leader.
The UN Secretary General will hold a lunch meeting for the leaders of the two communities on September 27, with the aim of finding common ground for the resumption of talks.
Anastasiades pointed towards comments made from the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot camp – specifically, proposals for a two-state solution and recognition – as a black mark on the peace process.
“I’m not as optimistic as I would like to be in the face of repeated statements by either (Turkish President Recep) Erdogan, or (Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut) Cavusoglu, repeated by Tatar,” the president said.
He also criticized what he argued is a “Neo-Ottoman” agenda by Turkey, saying it impacts not only Cyprus but also Greece, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Armenia.
Anastasiades is currently in New York for the UN General Assembly (UNGA), and is set to meet with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday.
Anastasiades is expected to brief Guterres on his proposal for a return to the 1960 Constitution made in response to the UNSG’s call for pitching new ideas to break the stalemate.
Earlier in the month, Anastasiades explained that it was not a call to return to a unitary state but rather a call to the Turkish Cypriot side to assume the positions it was intended to based on the 1960 constitution, so that a dialogue can start on territorial adjustments and other issues. Tatar has already rejected this proposal.
Anastasiades, Cyprus pays tribute to the victims of 9/11
On Monday, Anastasiades visited Ground Zero, where in a special ceremony he laid a wreath at the Monument to the Victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“Cyprus pays tribute to the victims of 9/11. My prayers are with Joe Biden and the American people, as I attend the commemoration ceremony at the Sept 11 Memorial, marking the 20th anniversary of the horrendous terrorist attacks. Our belief in democracy remains stronger than ever,” Anastasiades wrote on Twitter.
The Cyprus President also met the Director General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, in New York. A statement by the Presidency says that during the meeting, the President of the Republic referred to the destruction of cultural heritage in the occupied areas of Cyprus by Turkey.
Very constructive meeting with @UNESCO Director General @AAzoulay. Delighted to see UNESCO under her leadership celebrating 75 successful years, in its mission to build peace through international cooperation in #Education, #Sciences, #Culture.
— Nicos Anastasiades (@AnastasiadesCY) September 20, 2021
Azoulay referred to the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the Organization`s founding and invited President Anastasiades to attend the celebrations that will take place in Paris, on November 12, and in which the UN Secretary General will also participate.