A solution that will guarantee human rights is a top priority, President says

Our top priority is to see Cyprus free and reunited through a solution that will ensure human rights and basic freedoms for all its legitimate citizens, President of the Republic, Nikos Christodoulides, has said.

Speaking at a memorial service on 17 December, the President of the Republic noted that despite the frustrations, challenges and difficulties, "we are striving to achieve a viable and functional solution based on the European acquis and the relevant United Nations resolutions".

A solution, he continued, that will liberate and reunite the small island of Cyprus, end the Turkish occupation and allow all Cypriot people to fully benefit from the prospects of a reunited homeland, which is a member state of the European Union.

"I want to use today's opportunity to reiterate my readiness to resume negotiations from where they were suspended in 2017," he said.

President Christodoulides also welcomed the decision by the UN Secretary-General to appoint a personal envoy in an effort to resume the dialogue on the basis of the agreed framework.

Also on 17 December, Christodoulides said that the UNSG's envoy for Cyprus should spend time on the island rather than paying a visit for some days, adding that as he  has been informed her appointment will go into effect on January 1st, 2024.

In statements to the press, the President said that they are waiting for the official announcements by the UNSG but as he has been informed, the appointment of the envoy will go into effect on the first day of the new year.

He noted that immediately after the envoy will visit New York to meet with the UN Secretary General, and then will visit Cyprus.

He said once again that taking into account his previous experience from various envoys and advisors, the envoy should stay the island not just for 24 or 48 hours, but rather "come here and spend time working with us."

The President said that the envoy will of course visit Ankara, London, Athens, Brussels, but should stay and spend days in Cyprus so that the conditions are formed, via discussion, to reach the aim for the resumption of the peace talks on the agreed framework.

Regarding Nicosia's proposal for the humanitarian corridor for Gaza, he said that there are developments to this end and that there may be some announcements later on Sunday.

He noted that a group of Israelis came to Cyprus and a new team will visit these days. He furthermore said that as soon as there is a green light from Israel, humanitarian aid will be sent.

President Christodoulides also noted that the situation for the civilians is dire and much more needs to be done.

He once again expressed his disagreement with the fact that the European Council in Brussels did not reach a result on the Middle East. According to the President the EU is sending a very wrong message to the region and that is why he spoke to some of our partners in the Mediterranean states "so that we start preparing for the day after the war."

The President noted that if we don't start discussing about it and if we don't reach a framework and basic principles, he is very afraid that this situation will either be repeated or will continue. He noted that the EU needs to play a leading role in the region.

Replying to a question he said that he agrees with some of the EUCO decisions regarding Ukraine’s and some other countries’ EU course , but he expressed his disagreement and concern about the way some decisions were taken and also about the fact that it was not possible to reach conclusions on the Middle East.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

(Source: CNA)

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