Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou has assured that the government is monitoring international developments which affect the Cyprus problem, reiterating that the focus right now is on the initiative by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres through his envoy Jane Holl Lute and the resumption of talks.
Prodromou was replying to journalists’ questions after a meeting President Nicos Anastasiades had with Education and Culture Minister Costas Hampiaouris at the presidential residence in Troodos.
Asked whether tensions between the USA and Turkey are likely to have an impact on developments in the Cyprus reunification process, he replied that “naturally, we monitor international developments and in particular international developments which would affect actors and protagonists in the Cyprus problem.”
“There are many analysis and assessments which could be made and ought to be made,” he noted, adding that right now “politically our attention is focused on the positive reply the Cyprus President has given for the resumption of dialogue in the Cyprus problem.”
Our attention, he continued, “is focused on the UN Secretary General’s initiative,” adding that the government is waiting to find out the results of the consultations Guterres’ envoy Jane Holl Lue will have.
Asked to comment on a daily newspaper’s report that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots in case of a failure in the Cyprus talks are looking into opening the Turkish occupied Maronite village of Ayia Marina Skyllouras, he reiterated that “the President has stated to Jane Holl Lute that he is ready for the immediate resumption of negotiations where they had left off, on the basis of the Guterres framework and making the most of the Guterres framework.”
Because, Prodromou pointed out, “our goal is not just for the negotiations to resume but to reach a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem.”
Our goal, he added, “is to resolve the Cyprus problem, end occupation, reunite a liberated Cyprus, without guarantors and foreign armies, therefore, under no circumstances would we wish to comment on a deadlock which is what likely Turkish sources are referring to.”
Replying to a question about negotiations with the Egyptian government on the pipeline and Noble regarding natural gas reserves found in the “Aphrodite” well in block 12 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone the spokesman said that “negotiations are ongoing” adding that when there is an announcement to be made, it will be made by the Energy Ministry.
He added that what is new is that political parties’ experts have been given more data so that they can be better informed on the basis of a request by President Anastasiades during the last meeting of the National Council, the country’s top advisory body.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island’s northern third. Numerous UN-backed talks, aiming at reunifying the island under a federal roof, have failed to yield any results. The latest round of peace talks that took place at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively in July 2017