Cyprus President says government to launch international campaign to elicit reaction on Turkish positions in Geneva

President Anastasiades signing of the book of condolences for late socialist leader Vassos Lyssarides. CNA

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said Tuesday that the Government will carry out an international awareness campaign for the Cyprus problem in order to elicit reactions on the positions, which the Turkish side presented during the 5+1 informal meeting in Geneva last week.

In statements to the journalists after signing of the book of condolences for late socialist leader Vassos Lyssarides, the President said that the government was set to launch an awareness campaign for the positions submitted in Geneva, on behalf of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots, which, as he noted, are outside the parameters set by the United Nations resolutions and the decisions of the Security Council, but also the terms of the mandate they have received and the good offices of the UN Secretary General must offer in that direction.

“Therefore”, he said, “the effort is to have corresponding reactions from both the UN and the EU, but not only from them, but also from countries that can and have the potential to exert influence on Turkey”.

Asked if things could change given the intensity with which the Turkish side expressed its positions, the President of the Republic said that the question is whether they have calculated the cost for the Turkish Cypriots after leading them to isolation.

“It is something that is not possible, he added, it is something that cannot be accepted neither by the international community, nor by the EU” he said.

President Anastasiades also said he was surprised by statements made on Monday by Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar. As the President said, one of the arguments of the Turkish Cypriot side during the summit in Geneva was that they are co-founders of the Republic of Cyprus. On the other hand, President Anastasiades added, “he considered that I insulted the Turkish Cypriots because I called them my fellow citizens”.

“I would like to ask him one thing: Should 97 thousand Turkish Cypriots who have the Cypriot identity, the Cypriot passport and enjoy as much as Cypriot European citizens, be ashamed? How much more should his associates, who also have a Cypriot identity card or a Cypriot passport, be ashamed? “, the President pointed out.

“I don’t want to get involved in controversy, but patience has limits,” the President concluded.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results.

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