A solution to the long-standing dispute between Cyprus and Turkey, based on the results of the 2017 talks in Switzerland's Crans-Montana, could be found before the end of 2019, Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides told SputnikMOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 01st April, 2019) A solution to the long-standing dispute between Cyprus and Turkey, based on the results of the 2017 talks in Switzerland's Crans-Montana, could be found before the end of 2019, Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides told Sputnik.
Cyprus has been de facto divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded the island. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was declared in 1983, and is recognized only by Turkey. In July 2017, negotiations on Cyprus were held in Switzerland's Crans-Montana, but they ultimately collapsed due to the lack of concrete decisions.
"As to whether a solution is possible by the end of this year, my answer is yes. We came closer than ever before to reaching a solution during the last round of negotiations, which was suspended in Crans Montana as a result of the Turkish positions. If we are able to continue from the point negotiations were left in Crans Montana, building on the convergences that were reached, it would be possible to reach a solution before long, provided that Turkey will demonstrate the necessary political will this time," Christodoulides said.
The foreign minister reiterated that the system of external security assurances for Cyprus did not correspond to existing international realities, and he thanked Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for sharing the same point of view.
"As regards the issue of security and guarantees, our position is clear: such securities and guarantees are obsolete in the contemporary world and are also incompatible with the essence of a solution to the Cyprus problem, which is to render Cyprus a normal state whose affairs and fate will be determined by its people alone, without any foreign interference," Christodoulides underlined.
"Regarding the prospects for the resumption of negotiations, the effort is ongoing in the context of the mission assigned by the UN Secretary General to his Envoy Ms. Jane Holl Lute. The latter is holding separate meetings with all parties involved with a view to preparing the ground for the resumption of meaningful negotiations that would hopefully lead to a comprehensive agreement," Christodoulides said.
The system of external security guarantees was formed with the signing of the Treaty of Guarantee at the end of the United Kingdom's colonial rule over the island in 1960. According to the treaty, Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom act as the guarantors of the independence, security and territorial integrity of Cyprus. Nicosia considers the system of guarantees "anachronistic" and a limitation on Cyprus' sovereignty.