14 March 2014 10:28

Cyprus is at the doorstep of tough peace negotiations and not a solution, government spokesman Christos Stylianides said yesterday amid a whirlwind of objections from political parties regarding the President’s handling of the process.
Speaking after yesterday’s National Council meeting at the Presidential Palace, Stylianides said the government must act correctly and is therefore obligated to wait for developments at the negotiation table.
“Everyone is entitled to voice their opinion and disagreements are welcome, but the responsibility for the negotiation falls with the President of the Republic and therefore he is also responsible for the prestige and credibility of Cyprus abroad,” the government spokesman said.
Diko leader Nicolas Papadopoulos told reporters after the meeting that the ‘generous offers’ and ‘good guy’ policy that the government is promoting has had negative repercussions for the Greek Cypriot side.
“Although we radically disagree on the practice followed by the President on the Cyprus problem, we will support efforts …on the correct basis and will try in a constructive way, despite our disagreement with the President’s handlings, to give our own alternative proposals in an effort to reinforce the President’s negotiating position,” Papadopoulos said.
Akel general secretary Andros Kyprianou said that based on the information given by President Anastasiades there appears to be a big gap between the positions of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides.
“I have no doubt that efforts to achieve an agreement on the Cyprus problem will be a very difficult process and we all need to be responsible and serious and very careful about how we handle the issues,” Kyprianou said.
He added that despite his party’s disagreements with Anastasiades it is important that those are voiced in a constructive way that will help the President with the difficult task he has to carry out.
During the meeting Anastasiades updated the members of the National Council on developments with negotiations including the content of meetings between the two negotiators.
He also informed them on the meeting of Cypriot Greek negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis and his team in Ankara, as well as the talks between the Turkish Cypriot negotiator and Secretary General of the Greek Foreign Affairs Ministry in Athens.
Anastasiades told party leaders about the latest European Council and developments in Ukraine, and the EU’s positions. His telephone conversation with US vice-president Jo Biden was also discussed.
Meanwhile, the US State Department has called on all parties in Cyprus to work for a comprehensive solution on the Cyprus issue that would reunite the country under a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation.
A State Department Spokesperson, asked to comment on a meeting held between Deputy Secretary William Burns and so-called foreign minister of the regime in the Turkish occupied north, said that Burns “discussed the Turkish Cypriot perspectives on Cyprus settlement efforts”.
He also pointed out that “we reaffirm our full support for the Cypriot-led process, under the auspices of the United Nations Good Offices Mission, to reach a comprehensive settlement.  We continue to urge all parties to seize this historic opportunity to make real and substantial progress toward reunifying the island as a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation”.


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