November 24, 2017

Introductory Statement by President Anastasiades at UN Press Conference

Press Conference - Anastasiades

Thank you Mr. Under-Secretary General, it is a pleasure to be here today at the United Nations to meet the Press.

Allow me first of all to welcome all of you to this press conference, the first in the United Nations in my capacity as President of the Republic of Cyprus. I will make a brief introductory statement and then I will be happy to answer your questions.

The 68th General Assembly of the United Nations is taking place at a time of great challenges for humanity and subsequently for international institutions, primarily for the United Nations. It is about time through collective debate and self-assessment to evaluate if the UN principles, values and methods have indeed contributed to what we all have been hoping for: Maintenance of peace and security and respect for the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all people.

I acknowledge that in this imperfect world it is extremely difficult, even unattainable, to expect the full and unquestioning implementation of the UN principles and values. However, what is happening today risks to overthrow the current world order, calling into question the relevance and effectiveness of this International Organization.

Dear friends,

During this week I had a number of very important meetings with the UN Secretary General, several Head of States (Serbia, Lebanon, Palestine), the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Russia and China, the Permanent Representatives of the P5 and with the members of the Council of Foreign Relations, members of the AIPAC and members of the American Jewish Committee. Tomorrow I will be in Washington for a meeting with the US Vice President John Biden.

At the same time, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Kasoulides had a number of very important meetings with his colleagues from Lebanon, the Republic of Korea, Kazakhstan, Libya, Montenegro and Kuwait.

During these meetings we have had the opportunity to discuss a number of issues of common concern and of course the Cyprus Problem.

First of all, I assured that, despite the current economic difficulties we are facing, I am committed to work tirelessly and with determination in reaching a viable and lasting settlement.

I also presented my views as regard the negotiating process and the basis for reaching a settlement, as well as of my political vision for a reunited Cyprus. I stressed that the time of the start of the negotiations is not so important as for the negotiations to be well-prepared, with clear substance aims and targets. It is my firm belief that if the negotiating process is to have any realistic prospect of concluding in success, they have to be meaningful, result oriented and be contacted in a comprehensive manner.

I also emphasized the need that the EU membership of the Republic of Cyprus should play an important role during the negotiating process, bearing in mind the evolving transformation of the Republic of Cyprus in a bi-zonal, bi-communal Federal State, with a single international personality, single sovereignty and single citizenship.

During my meetings I also stressed the absolute need of restoring the hope, trust and confidence of the people in the prospect of reaching a settlement, through the adoption of measures which will provide a dynamic impetus to the negotiating process.

As such, I presented my proposal as regards the resettlement of Varosha to its rightful and lawful owners and inhabitants under the auspices of the United Nations.

I would also like to use this opportunity to welcome the decision of Turkey to respond positively to my proposal to hold meetings with the negotiator of the Greek Cypriot community.

I do hope and expect that this positive response will be followed up through practical and substantial steps and the adoption of a constructive attitude, guided by good faith which will contribute effectively towards reaching a settlement.

Let me conclude by expressing my satisfaction for the fact that, through my meetings, the positive and stabilizing role that Cyprus can assume in the Eastern Mediterranean, especially in the areas of combating terrorism, fighting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and providing humanitarian assistance, was widely acknowledged and commented.

Thank you