NICOSIA – It hasn’t happened in almost 48 years – since Turkey seized and occupied the northern third of the island with two invasions – but Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said an agreement on ending the division has to come now.
He told state broadcaster CyBC that the world’s rapid geopolitical changes, seen with Russia invading Ukraine and getting away with it, has shown that the differences on Cyprus between Greeks and Turks is minor by comparison.
He didn’t specify what the solution could be but said that Turkey and the Turkish-Cypriots must understand it can’t only on their terms, hardline Turkish-Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar rejecting reunification and demanding only recognition for the occupied side which no other country in the world apart from Turkey accepts.
He also reconfirmed that President Nicos Anastasiades will not stand in the 2023 Presidential elections and is ready to take on a new role in the attempt to find a solution to the Cyprus problem, said The Cyprus Mail.
There will be a focus on Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs) that haven’t worked to bring any real progress in breaching differences between the sides, the last round of negotiations collapsing in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana.
That was over Turkey and the Turkish-Cypriots insisting that a 35,000-strong standing army on the occupied side would never be removed and demanding the right to invade further when they wanted.
Kasoulides will welcome US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland when she visits the island, known as the graveyard of diplomats because none have come close to finding an answer.