He was making statements on board his flight on the way to the Swiss city from Cyprus. President Anastasiades and his delegation arrived in Geneva at 1145 hours local time (1245 Cyprus time) where on Monday he is set to hold talks with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
In his statements President Anastasiades told journalists accompanying him that “we are going (to Geneva) well prepared, always taking as a given our will and desire to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem, on the basis of principles and values allowing us to build a modern, European state, a state which will respect Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots concerns, will respect in general its citizens.”
And such a state, he added, “certainly does not need guarantors nor troops to supposedly protect what is commonly accepted by all modern states and we cannot continue to be the only case where a state needs third countries to guarantee it.”
Replying to a question President Anastasiades said that “what I want to hope for is that after decades of negotiations, what has been lacking in the past may now prevail, that is to say the good will of the Turkish side” adding that “it is the first time since the invasion that Turkey will be the Republic of Cyprus' interlocutor, particularly as regards the important matters of security and troops.”
The Republic of Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.
The leaders of the two communities, namely President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, are currently engaged in UN-led negotiations with an aim to reunify the island under a federal roof. They are set to meet in Geneva on January 9 to 11, and a conference with the participation of the guarantor powers is scheduled to begin on January 12.
Asked whether UN Secretary General Antonion Guterres has replied to a letter he sent him in which he states he will be representing the Republic of Cyprus in the conference on Cyprus on January 12 he replied that “no-one need reply.” The Republic of Cyprus, he pointed out, “is a recognised state, member state of the UN, recognised member state of the EU, trilateral alliances, cooperation do not take place with the Greek Cypriot community but but with the state, our participation in various international organisations does not take place under our identity as a community, but as a state.”
“Therefore, we do not need to prove to anyone who we are,” he added.
Asked about the agenda of talks he will have with Mustafa Akinci, he said it will be finalised tonight during their meeting.
Asked to express his own view as to what it would mean if Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan does not go to Geneva, President Anastasiades said that what matters “is for there to be willingness on the part of Turkey, and it can be expressed by anyone.”
Replying to another question he made it clear that “the dialogue is Cyprus led”. UN Security Council members, he added, “will be in the area, the EU will be present, there will be consultations by various parties, not in the form of arbitration, but in order for things to move toward the right direction.”
Asked what will be the content of a telephone conversation with Guterres later on tonight he said that the UN Secretary General has spoken to all the protagonists of the present phase, including Greece's Prime Minister and Turkey's President and the Foreign Ministers of the two countries and therefore he thinks that it will be a telephone call of encouragement and about the determination which should be shown by all parties involved.