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Stefanou: “If you constantly play defense, you will concede a goal…”

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Stefanos Stefanou, from the position of secretary general of AKEL, delimits the moves that his party wants to make in the Cyprus issue and sends messages to the President about what he should do and what to expect. Urges him to call for the resumption of negotiations, as requested by the UN Secretary General without queues and conditions. And to respond to Guterres with a proposal for gas in order to become a catalyst for a solution and meaningfully indicates that a strategic agreement will show that we are going for a solution and will give credibility to our side, while exposing Turkey if it rejects it. He is strongly critical of the President, does not comment on the attitude of the other parties and focuses on the credibility of N. Anastasiadis. He emphasizes that the Christofias-Talat convergences are an important legacy, but points out that “we need to add something to create motivation and common interests”. And the suggestion is about political equality.

– At this stage the focus is on the issue of Famagusta. The President stated that he was considering taking unilateral measures in response to Turkish tactics. What is your position as AKEL?

– We boldly stated our position in the National Council. When discussing measures you need to evaluate whether they serve the purpose you set. The aim should not be to serve an audience but to strengthen, as much as you can, your legal and diplomatic arsenal in trying to counter the tactics of the Turkish side. Be measures that convince the international community and will not create side effects. So we said that through this filter we should judge any actions. It was discussed as a thought brought by the Government, to close the roadblock of Deryneia. We told them that any discussion about closing roadblocks would be to our detriment. We are not convincing either the Europeans or the United Nations and we will further expel the Turkish Cypriots. We will disappoint them, we will send them once and for all in the arms of Turkey and we will be lost. With regard to the withdrawal of travel documents, we should also discuss this in order to see what the cost of depriving Mr. Tatar of travel documents will ultimately be and to measure what benefit we will have. Will this Government finally decide to pursue a policy that will convince the international community, or will it simply settle for the sake of caressing the ears of some?

– For you, what would be the appropriate way that would bring costs to Turkey, end the implementation of the plans and bring everyone back to the negotiating table?

– The only way to deal effectively with Turkey's step-by-step efforts to consolidate the division is to focus on trying to resume negotiations. What is happening today was completely predictable. The history of the Cyprus problem is full of such periods with negotiation gaps and Turkey acquitted to proceed with the realization of its goal of dividing Cyprus. This was to be expected after the failure in Crans Montana, especially since the UN Secretary-General praised Turkey for its stance and blamed both sides for the failure. So, what is happening today should not surprise anyone. It was completely predictable and we have since told the President that there is no other way than to push for the resumption of negotiations. And this was not general and vague but specific, because the Secretary General was talking about resuming negotiations from the point where they were interrupted, preserving the convergences reached. The President was furious about other things and did not do what he should have done while we were facing Mr. Akinci. Eventually, Turkey methodized the removal of Mr. Akinci and promoted a submissive to do what he wants. The President is trying to persuade for the resumption of negotiations, but he is not convincing until he takes the necessary steps.


Source: 24h.com.cy

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