The public want serious and well-founded proposals from all the candidates. The protracted stalemate on the Cyprus issue cannot be addressed with slogans or improvisations. Those individuals responsible for the current impasse cannot bring to the table something other than that which they were pursuing under the Anastasiades administration.
I have two key proposals to break deadlock: Energy and EU-Turkish relations.
- Natural gas can be a catalyst for a settlement – only earlier this week, Israel and Lebanon, two countries that remain formally at war, reached a preliminary maritime border agreement, demonstrating that energy can contribute to peace
- By reviving the convergences on the Cyprus issue, we can support a positive agenda on EU-Turkish relations, so that they can progress in parallel, and contingent on progress on talks on a Cyprus settlement.
I propose an EU-Turkish action plan that would include, among other,
- The appointment to the talks of an EU envoy who reports to the President of the European Commission
- Participation of the EU in the UN’s security mechanism
- The planning and financing from the EU budget of large infrastructure and reconstruction projects, such as the reconstruction of Varosha
These objectives can be achieved with goodwill, hard work and persuasion, but only if we are credible in pursuing our goals. Without credibility, without alliances, without good standing, we cannot achieve our aims.
Some candidates promise to capitalise on the EU and propose envoys on the Cyprus issue. Why did they not achieve this over the years when they were responsible for foreign policy? At the time, they were asking for sanctions. Having failed, they have changed their tune. Nothing can be achieved in this manner.
The key word is ‘credibility’ without which no-one will take us seriously and the impasse will continue.
Unfortunately, Turkish intransigence has ended up serving as an excuse for our own inaction, ending up in our own lack of credibility. Inaction means coming to terms with the status quo as we sleepwalk gradually to partition.
I pledge as presidential candidate:
Never to accept a land border with Turkey on Ledra Street.
Never to accept partition.
We seek, with consistency and credibility, a Green and United Cyprus that is free of occupation forces and rights of intervention, a common homeland for all Cypriots.
Nicosia, 17 October 2022