Foreign Minister Kyprianou: Turkey must stop hiding behind the Turkish Cypriots
Larnaca, May 9 – The Minister of Foreign Affairs Markos Kyprianou called on Turkey to undertake its responsibilities with regard to the Cyprus issue and “stop hiding behind the Turkish Cypriots.”
Invited to say whether the Cyprus talks -- set to resume on May 26th -- will pick up from where they left off before the so-called “elections” in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, Minister Kyprianou said that the answer to that will be given at the negotiating table.
Once the negotiations resume, it will be clear whether the change in the Turkish Cypriot leadership has brought a change of Turkey’s positions, Minister Kyprianou said. “Turkey must finally undertake its responsibilities and express its position on the prospect, the shape and the aim of the solution of the Cyprus problem and it must stop hiding behind the Turkish Cypriots,” he added.
Minister Kyprianou made the above statement before departing for Brussels, where he chaired a meeting of the heads of the Cypriot diplomatic missions in the EU capitals on May 9. The following day, May 10, the Cypriot Foreign Minister attended the EU Foreign Affairs Council.
During his stay in Brussels, Minister Kyprianou also held a series of meetings with his EU counterparts as well as with the leaders of the European Parliament political groups.
“This is part of our campaign to explain our positions on the Cyprus problem as well as our disagreement regarding the promotion of the direct trade regulation,” he said.
Mr. Kyprianou concluded his stay in Brussels with meetings with officials of the European Parliament and the European Commission on May 12.
Mr. Kyprianou had the opportunity to brief the President of the European Parliament Mr. Jerzy Buzek on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem as well as on the prospects of the talks, after the recent change in the Turkish Cypriot leadership. In view of the personal interest of the President of the European Parliament in the course of the negotiations, Mr. Kyprianou expressed his concern over the positions expressed by the new leader of the Turkish Cypriot community thus far, noting that the Greek Cypriot side is waiting for the resumption of the talks, where Mr. Eroglu’s positions will be clarified.
Mr. Kyprianou reiterated the commitment of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus to the solution of the Cyprus problem and expressed the hope that there will be a positive response from the Turkish Cypriot side as well. He also said that there can be no solution which does not ensure the unity of the state, as this has been defined by the joint statements and by the UN Security Council.
In the course of his contacts at the European Parliament, Mr. Kyprianou also reiterated his concern regarding the promotion of the direct trade regulation at the European Parliament, stressed the legal and the political objections of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus and explained that this development would undermine the process of the talks as well as the prospect of solving the Cyprus problem.
During his meeting with the Vice-chairperson of the European Commission and member of the Cyprus Steering Group, Mrs. Viviane Reding, the Foreign Minister briefed Mrs. Reding on the Greek Cypriot side’s positions on the Cyprus problem as well as on the course and the prospects of the talks. At his meeting with Cyprus EU Commissioner for Education and Culture, Mrs. Androulla Vasiliou, Mr. Kyprianou discussed issues of mutual interest and issues that concern Cyprus.
On May 13, Mr. Kyprianou traveled from Brussels to Bucharest, to pay a visit at the invitation of his Romanian counterpart.