Cyprus' president calls for resuming negotiations to reunify partitioned island

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-07 05:03:21|Editor: yan
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NICOSIA, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades on Tuesday called for the resumption of negotiations to reunify the partitioned eastern Mediterranean island, warning that a new failure to reach an agreement after more than 40 years of talks will be catastrophic.

Anastasiades said he has publicly submitted a proposal for a decentralized future federal Cyprus in order to address Turkish Cypriot demands for effective participation in decision making and to facilitate the resumption of negotiations.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres is currently trying through shuttle diplomacy by a personal envoy to define the terms of reference for the resumption of the negotiating process following its collapse in Switzerland in July 2017.

"Agreeing on the terms for the exercise of effective Turkish Cypriot participation in the administration of the state is one of the issues the Secretary General included in his six-point framework for a Cyprus deal", Anastasiades said during a televised press conference.

He added that a solution of the Cyprus problem, which is on the agenda of the UN since 1974, would not be possible without the effective participation of Turkish Cypriots in the governance.

Turkish Cypriots, who make up about 20 percent of the population, have made it a condition that there should be one positive Turkish Cypriot vote in every decision of the government and every state institution.

"In order to minimize friction and safeguard a functional state I have suggested that powers which would affect the every-day life of people should be exercised by the constituent parts of the state", he said.

He added that the central government will keep only those powers which would be necessary for the existence of a single state with a single sovereignty, a single citizenship, a single and unified economy and the effective participation of Cyprus in the European Union.

He added that on decisions which would affect vital interests of Turkish Cypriots they would have a vote, but at the same time there must be an effective mechanism to solve stalemates, in line with the Guterres framework.

The UN chief's personal envoy on Cyprus, Jane Hol Lute, is currently engaged in consultations for the resumption of the reunification negotiations.

Cyprus was partitioned since 1974, when Turkey sent its troops to occupy its northern part, in reaction to a coup organized by the military rulers of Greece at the time.