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Press conference: European action plan with credibility – Achilleas Demetriades: “No to partition, a settlement is in our interest”

Proposals to break the impasse in the Cyprus issue.

Independent presidential candidate Achilleas Demetriades on Thursday (October 20,2022) presented in Nicosia his positions on the Cyprus issue, aimed at breaking the impasse in efforts for a settlement.

Achilleas Demetriades’ immediate objectives as part of his government programme is to restore Cyprus’ credibility, align with EU interests, capitalise on the two key issues of energy and EU-Turkey relations, as well as to rebuild trust with the Turkish Cypriot community.

Mr Demetriades criticised the Anastasiades’ government handling of the Cyprus issue, the abandonment of the negotiations at Crans-Montana and the protracted inaction which followed. He argued that the dilemma in the presidential elections was whether to remain with our arms crossed, or to organise ourselves and act.

He also underlined that under the current, very difficult conditions, Cyprus needed new leadership: “The outgoing government has brought us to the current sorry state of affairs. Consequently, its successors cannot lead us out of the impasse because they are part of the problem and not of the solution.”

Describing the Cyprus issue as a matter of survival, A. Demetriades outlined his immediate objectives: setting up a negotiating team which believes in a federal solution and establishing the Guterres framework as a strategic agreement with the aim of resolving the Cyprus issue based on the EU acquis and fundamental human rights.

He described the EU as a “shield for Cyprus” and said that its support was contingent on Cyprus’ leadership regaining the credibility that has been battered in the EU as a result of corruption and the golden passports, and in the UN due to the departure from the negotiations at Crans-Montana.

Elaborating on his proposals, A. Demetriades suggested the implementation of a European Action Plan that includes appointing an envoy of the president of the EU Commission to the talks on the Cyprus issue as well as the participation of the EU in the UN’s security mechanism in the implementation stages of a Cyprus settlement.

Within the same framework, A. Demetriades proposed that the EU support a settlement by incorporating in its projects the reconstruction of Famagusta, the establishment of a bicommunal hospital and the development of photovoltaic parks.

As regards relations with the T/C community, A. Demetriades argued that trust must be rebuilt and proposed bicommunal relations at all levels of society as well as the operation of four Technical Committees (hydrocarbons, green energy, climate change, migration).

  1. Demetriades called for a public dialogue to educate public opinion about a federation and how it operates so that the public can become part of the process in preparing for implementation of the settlement.

He also backed the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission modelled on that of Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

As regards the situation in Varosha, A. Demetriades pointed out that what had happened was far from fireworks. Describing Varosha as “beacon for a settlement” he warned that “should this beacon be extinguished; Cyprus will fall on the rocks of partition.” And he proposed safeguarding the legal rights of property owners vis-à-vis EFKAF.

  1. Demetriades stated categorically that “partition must not be the future of Cyprus.” He noted that “the solution of the Cyprus issue is in our interest because it will, after half a century, deliver a free, united and shared country for all Cypriots, without occupation forces and guarantees, in a normal state, member of the EU.”

Concluding, A. Demetriades said: “Cyprus can change course, but for this to happen, we must change leadership and regain our credibility, something which can only be achieved through a consistent and serious stand”.

 Also present at the press conference were former Foreign Minister Erato Markoullis, former ambassador Pavlos Anastasiades, Titina Loizidou and the deputy president of the movement “Famagusta for Cyprus” Michalis Christou Kittos.

 21/10/2022

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