We will never accept a solution outside the agreed framework, FM tells Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy

Foreign Affairs

We will never accept a solution outside the agreed framework, said Minister of Foreign Affairs, Constantinos Kombos, speaking to a delegation of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy at the Presidential Palace on Friday. Kombos emphasized that "we reject such ideas without the slightest hesitation." Describing the vision for a free, reunited Cyprus, a common homeland of Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Armenians, Maronites and Latins, which would be a model of peaceful coexistence, reconciliation, and a pillar of peace and security throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, the Minister of Foreign Affairs emphasised that the solution of the Cyprus problem is sought through peace talks, always within the framework of the UN, and on the basis of the resolutions of the Security Council. "Our goal is to achieve a functional, comprehensive and viable solution, within the framework of a Bizonal Bicommunal Federation, with a single sovereignty, a single citizenship, a single international personality and with political equality, as defined in the relevant resolutions. Furthermore, the solution should be consistent with the European acquis, fully respecting the principles and values on which the EU is based and operates," he said, stressing that "we should declare and we do this every day, that we will never accept a solution outside of this context. We reject such ideas without the slightest hesitation." He added, however, that at the same time we are dealing with ongoing and intensifying efforts to upgrade the status of the Turkish occupied area of Cyprus. 'Unfortunately this is now on a regular basis. We oppose these actions and at the same time respond to attempts to undermine the internationally recognised statehood of the Republic of Cyprus," he said. Referring to the issue of Turkish occupied Famagusta, "where the illegal actions in the enclosed area of Varosha are intended to create new faits accomplis, in violation of UN resolutions," Kombos said that any development other than placing the area under UN administration, will constitute yet another ongoing attack on international law. The Minister underlined that "the fair and viable solution of our national issue is at the same time a matter of survival." Furthermore, the Minister noted that Cyprus' foreign policy cannot but be based on the fact that it is a member state of the EU. "This has been the greatest success of the Republic of Cyprus," he said, adding that "we want to act as a bridge with other states that are not within the EU", especially to states in the region. Referring to IAO, Kombos said that they have managed to drive the promotion of mutual understanding and mutual respect away from religious intolerance, promoting cooperation. "This is also evident through the cooperation agreements you developed, both with the Pan-African Parliament and with the Parliamentary Union of the member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation," he noted. The Minister made a special reference to the efforts of the IAO to raise awareness within the international community regarding abuses that take place in the Turkish occupied territories in Cyprus, especially related to the desecration of cultural and Christian monuments. "Actions that are definitely not consistent with the civilised world, actions that are done methodically and with the aim of altering the historical truth," as he said. "The destruction of our cultural heritage, the attempt to erase the Christian character, motivates us even further. In this effort, we want you as conductors, supporters, and with your participation in the Nicosia Convention, we invite you to join your voices with ours", he said, addressing the members of the IAO. The Nicosia Convention, which was adopted during Cyprus' presidency in the Council of Europe in May 2017, places cultural heritage at the heart of its mission and provides for a criminal justice response to the criminal offences relating to cultural property. 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. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively. Varosha, the fenced off section of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta, is often described as a 'ghost town', despite the UN Security Council resolution 789 (1992) urging that the area at present under the control of the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus be extended to include Varosha, on October 8, 2020, the Turkish side opened part of the fenced area of Varosha, following an announcement made in Ankara. Both the UN Secretary-General and the EU expressed concern, while the UN Security Council called for the reversal of this course of action.

Source: Cyprus News Agency