Government says it is monitoring information about Turkish actions meticulously

The government is meticulously following information as regards the steps taken by the Turkish side on the Cyprus problem and is getting ready to take specific actions which will be announced once they have been implemented, Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides has said.

Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides


Christodoulides was replying to journalists’ questions at the Presidential Palace, on Friday. Asked whether the minutes of what happened at the final dinner in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, have been sent to the permanent members of the UN Security Council and the EU, he replied that “everything referred to by the President of the Republic in his relevant statement on the specific issue has been implemented.”


Replying to another question, Christodoulides said that “under current circumstances we consider that it is important that” UNFICYP`s mandate “has been renewed for six months, until January 31.”


He also said that there are some very important references in the relevant resolution aproved by the UN Security Council, including the reference to resolution 1251 which describes the format of the solution, the fact that there are enhanced references to the fact that negotiations take place in the framework of United Nations resolutions, as well as the reference calling for the return to the status quo in Strovilia and for not acting in a way which would change the status quo.


On the reference for a technical review of UNFICYP, he explained that it is not the first time that such a review will take place and he spoke of a new approach on the part of the US administration on peace keeping missions, adding that there will be reviews for all missions.


At the same time, he informed that a number of countries, among which a big one, have expressed their readiness to contribute to Cyprus’ peace keeping mission with human resources.


Asked to comment on a statement made by the Deputy Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General Farhan Haq that if the parties in Cyprus are willing to consider new confidence building measures in relation to reports from the Turkish Cypriot press that the fenced-off part of the city of Famagusta, known as Varosha, will be opened, he recalled that the recent measures announced by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci are actually the actions of Turkey.


Therefore, under no circumstances do they constitute confidence building measures, he pointed out.


He referred to the relevant paragraph of the High Level Agreement of 1979 and UN resolutions 550 of 1984 and 789 of 1992 which refers very specifically to the need to return the fenced-off city to the United Nations.


e assured that the government follows and evaluates all information meticulously on a daily basis.


It is within our duties to do this and to approach all matters seriously, he said. At the same time, he noted that “even at this very moment we are preparing specific actions on the part of the Republic of Cyprus, which due to the seriousness with which we approach all issues, will be announced after they are implemented.”


Asked whether the government would advise refugees from the fenced – off city what to do if Turkey gives access to them to go and live there under Turkish occupation, the Government Spokesman noted that of course it will as it did in the matter of the invitation by the Turkish occupying army for the return of Maronites to their occupied villages. In that case, he recalled, we have expressed our position clearly.


We are a responsible government and we will certainly express our position so that the Cypriot people can be informed.


Replying to a question on whether Greek Cypriots should change their attitude as Akinci suggested he said that “we do not feel the need to make such type of personal attack.”


This, he added, can be derived from the fact that together with Greece we were the only side to submit very specific proposals in Crans-Montana.


He further commented that in Akinci’s statements there is no reference to President Anastasiades’ challenge and invitation to say whether UN Special Adviser’s Espen Barth Eide’s allegations are true as regards the conversation during the final dinner at the Swiss resort.


Christodoulides also said that Akinci is obviously trying to create a confrontation within the Greek Cypriot community by making references to AKEL Secretary General Andros Kyprianou and stressed that the government “will not respond to Mr Akinci’s challenge.”


“Despite the fact that certain different approaches are absolutely respected and are legitimate it would never be right to give a picture of division within the Greek Cypriot side,” he pointed out, urging everyone to be careful in their public statements.


Replying to a journalist’s comment that Akinci’s criticism has focused on President Anastasiades, the Government Spokesman pointed out that this is due to Akinci’s inability to refer to very specific facts as regards the positions expressed in Crans-Montana.


He gave the example of the chapters on security and guarantees, and territory. He added that in the context of the discussion it was clear that the return concerned part of the Turkish occupied town of Morphou.


Referring to the issue of the Maronite villages, he noted that the Turkish side’s position was against the will and true wish of the people of those villages.


Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.  The latest round of the UN-backed Cyprus talks in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, ended inconclusively. The peace talks under the auspices of the UN aim at reuniting the island under a federal roof.


The Security Council established UNFICYP through resolution 186 (1964) on 4 March 1964 and has renewed the mission’s mandate for six-month terms since then.


The fenced – off Varosha part of the once thriving holiday resort, on the eastern coast of Cyprus, has been fenced off since the 1974 Turkish invasion and according to the UN the Turkish military is responsible for it. Repeated attempts to hand the fenced off area of Famagusta – known as Varosha – to UN administration and its Greek Cypriot legal inhabitants have so far failed due to the stance of the Turkish army.


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