NICOSIA - Cyprus' government says breakaway Turkish Cypriots and the Turkish government have scuttled chances of restarting talks to reunify the ethnically-split country.
Government spokesman Christos Stylianides on Saturday blamed Turkish Cypriots for "extreme and intransigent" positions. He said President Nicos Anastasiades is unwilling to now enter into talks "for the sake of talks."
Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu accused Greek Cypriots of intransigence after talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu earlier Saturday.
Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece. Only Turkey recognizes a Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence.
Greek Cypriots insist that single sovereignty for a future federated Cyprus must be encoded in a joint declaration before formal talks begin. Turkish Cypriots say there should be no preconditions to talks.
On Sunday President Anastasiades expressed hope that there will be a response from the Turkish Cypriot side that will constitute a change to the positions expressed on Saturday by the Foreign Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu during his illegal visit to the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus.
Speaking during a memorial service for the heroes of the Omorfita fightings, President Anastasiades called on the UN and the states which say that they want a Cyprus settlement to turn their attention to the Turkish side which questions the UN resolutions and decisions as well as existing agreements, and wants to undermine what is non-negotiable for every citizen, the matter of sovereignty
“We hoped that there would be signs of hope but I regret to say that what has been broadcasted by the media (on Davutoglu’s statements) does not leave any room for us to exhaust even more our patience and good will,” he noted.
He noted that under the circumstances “no one can expect us to engage into a dialogue that will just allow time to pass by, and in this way serve Eroglu’s position that as time passes by they (the Turkish side) will proceed with implementing a plan b”.
The President stressed that with unity among the political parties and with the support of Greece, as well as based on the UN and the EU law, values and principles “we struggle to create the conditions that will allow us to begin a dialogue which will offer prospects and hope and reunite our country” so that there will be no occupation troops and we will be allowed as European citizens to work and live together peacefully.
Anastasiades underlined that “we struggle for a settlement that will terminate the occupation, the illegal settling, and the presence of foreign troops in Cyprus”, adding that the solution of the Cyprus problem must “restore and safeguard the inalienable human rights and basic freedoms of all Cypriots.”
“The settlement must be functional and viable, reunite the people, the country, the institutions and the economy,” he added.
He stressed that the Greek Cypriot side does not want to play the blame game. We are not interested in who will bear the responsibility of a deadlock that will keep our country divided, he added.
“We are interested in not having a deadlock, in concluding a settlement, in reuniting our common homeland,” he added, adding that the settlement must safeguard European principles and norms, and establish stability in Cyprus and the region.
For this reason, he added, “we insist that the basic principles for a Cyprus settlement must be made clear in an explicit and indisputable way before we get engaged into a dialogue and discuss for the reunification of the country, instead of negotiating for a divorce.”