Collapsed Cyprus unity talks shouldn’t be resurrected at any cost just to find a solution to bring the island back together again decades after an unlawful 1947 Turkish invasion, Archbishop Chrysostomos said, ruling out a settlement “at any cost” to get an answer.
In his Christmas message, the Archbishop said the impression that carrying out talks just for the sake of it, without any prospects for success as protection from “worse situations,” was a mistake, the Cyprus Mail reported.
“We have been experiencing in Cyprus for 45 years the suffering from the occupation of half our country and escalating insecurity, which derives from Turkey’s insatiable aspirations of conquering all of Cyprus,” Chrysostomos said.
That came as he said Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades is under growing pressure from the United Nations and international community to make concessions to finally resolve a problem that has eluded a long line of diplomats and envoys.
The Archbishop said that the legitimate government, which is a member of the European Union that Turkey wants to join while barring its ships and planes and refusing to recognize it, is being squeezed “for new concessions in order for the occupying power to agree to the relaunch of the talks,” that collapsed in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana.
Those negotiations fell apart when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said they would never remove an army occupying the northern third of the island and that they wanted the right to militarily intervene again when they wanted.
“Weren’t we engaged in talks when the second phase of the invasion began? Or when they were declaring the pseudo-state? Did the talks ever stop violations of our airspace or of our exclusive economic zone?” he asked. The talks, said Chrysostomos, were not a cure for all ills, “nor should the resumption of the talks be sought at any cost.”
He said that straying from a bizonal, bicommunal type solution, which was a “racist and separatist” one, “should not lead us to accept a worse solution, a concealed confederation,” with Turkey suggesting the island is headed for permanent partition without resolution.