President Anastasiades yesterday said Nicosia’s proposal on the opening of Varosha is balanced enough and those wishing to contribute to efforts towards solving the Cyprus problem should act accordingly.
He was responding to Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s statements on Saturday in occupied Nicosia that confidence-building measures in Cyprus should be ‘equitable and balanced’.
If Varosha was to be discussed as a CBM, then something of equivalent or equal value would also have to be on the table, the Turkish Foreign Minister added.
Anastasiades also said: “If for simple confidence-building measures, we come face to face with such foot-dragging and such an unacceptable attitude, you can understand the difficulties we encounter at the negotiating table.”
Davutoglu’s paid short stop in the north most likely to ensure Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu was on the same page ahead of US Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Cyprus from May 21 to 23.
Davutoglu made clear he, himself, was deeply involved in the UN-brokered Cyprus peace talks and that he was visiting the breakaway north to discuss the developments in the Cyprus issue since December.
But he specifically referred to “recent increased international interest” as the main reason for his hours-only visit and noted that Biden would liaise “equally with both sides” encouraging them to solve the Cyprus issue.
Biden is expected to discuss, among other things, the fenced-off area of Famagusta, known as Varosha, for which the US is reportedly willing to fund a masterplan.
President Anastasiades wants the fenced city returned as a CBM that would help maintain the momentum in the bumpy peace process launched on February 11.
But Davutoglu ruled this out under the current circumstances saying Varosha was always an issue to be decided as part of a comprehensive settlement.
“Once you go along with individual solutions then at some stage you create a new status quo, which can prevent a comprehensive solution,” he also said.