Solution to the Cyprus problem is ‘within reach’, President tells UN Assembly
A settlement to the Cyprus problem in the form of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation that is unified, democratic and inclusive is feasible and need not involve unfair compromises, the President of the country told the General Assembly today.
Tassos Papadopoulos said the status quo on the Mediterranean island was not sustainable and it was important to continue with the process outlined in an agreement signed on 8 July last year by the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities.
The accord sets out the necessary framework for a political process that was designed to lead to the resumption of full-fledged negotiations under the auspices of the good offices of the United Nations Secretary-General but, more than a year later, the negotiations remain yet to begin.
Mr. Papadopoulos said “the surprising laboriousness in implementing this carefully crafted agreement” is not inherent to the process and he reiterated that the 8 July agreement provides the only basis for taking the issue forward.
He stressed that he regards “the preservation of our interests and those of Turkey in our region not as mutually exclusive but as complementary and interdependent,” adding that it was time to seize the opportunity to prevent the dispute becoming eternal.
“We are convinced that reaching a settlement well above the lowest common denominator is feasible and the creation of a unified, democratic, inclusive and forward-looking society fully assuming its place in the European Union is within reach.
“We are also convinced that a settlement in the form of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation can be truly comprehensive and need not sacrifice justice for the sake of peace.”