WASHINGTON – Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades will brief United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York on the state of the collapsed unity talks but is walking away from blaing Turkey as it was earlier reported he would claim.
The two are due to meet March 22 during Anastasiades’ trip, during which he will also address an investment conference about Cyprus and meet British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
The United Kingdom, with Greece and Turkey, are guarantors of security on the island but Anastasiades said he wants them to relinquish the role if the unity talks succeed.
Speaking to members of the press upon his arrival in New York, the president said he will seek to explain to Guterres the problems surrounding the talks that fell apart when Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci left the bargaining table, upset that the Cypriot Parliament – with Anastasiades’ party members abstaining – approved an annual commemoration of a 1950 referendun seeking unity, or Enosis, with Greece.
Akinci also had repeated demands from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Turkey be allowed to keep its 30,000-strong army on the island along with the right to militarily intervene, as it did in an unlawful 1974 invasion that split the island.
Turkey occupies the northern third and a legion of diplomats, envoys, politicians, officials and brokers have failed since the to put the island back together again.
“We are not the ones who left the negotiating table,” he said, the Cyprus Mail reported. He reiterated his goal is to continue the negotiations and said he’s seeking Guterres’ backing to get them kick-started again and get Akinci talking again.
Commenting on Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s statements – published in the Washington Times – that a Cyprus solution would include the EU’s four freedoms for Turkish nationals, and the 1960 guarantees would remain, Anastasiades rejected it.
“I have no wish to link the demands of the Turkish Foreign Minister to my meeting with the UNSG. I will however stress to the Secretary General that he can contribute to a lasting solution, which is compatible with the acquis communautaire. Unfortunately, Cavusoglu’s claims have nothing to do with what we are seeking to achieve,” he said.
Anastasiades arrived in New York on March 19, accompanied by government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides where he was to attend a dinner hosted in his honour by Cypriot expatriates in the US.
On March 21, he was scheduled to mark the end of the trading day at the New York stock exchange and the next day is due to meet Guterres and Archbishop Demetrios of America, before addressing the international Invest in Cyprus conference at the Metropolitan Club.
The forum is organized by Capital Link, in cooperation with the Cypriot association of shipowners, the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency, and the commercial chambers of Cyprus and USA.