London, Thanasis Gavos

The views of the Cypriot government on the more active participation of the EU in the negotiations on the Cyprus issue, with the aim of resuming the negotiations, were developed by the Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Konstantinos Kombos in the meeting he had this morning at the Foreign Office with his British counterpart James Cleverly.

The two ministers also had the opportunity to discuss a number of bilateral issues, such as the implementation of the Memorandum of Strategic Cooperation signed in November, as well as issues of regional interest.

“The importance of our bilateral relationship, which has historical depth, multi-layered stratification and substantial content, has been reaffirmed,” said Dr Kobos, outgoing British Foreign Office.

He continued: “I developed our views around the Cyprus problem, we explained the proposal of the President of the Republic for a more active involvement of the EU in order to restart the negotiations and we also discussed the importance of the role that the UN will maintain in this process, as well as of the continuing role that the United Kingdom has in issues related to the Cyprus problem.

“I confirmed our own position that the resumption of talks is something for which we have no choice but to insist and press for them to start immediately. Our will in this direction is unwavering from our side so that the deadlock is lifted.

»The starting point for us is the point where the negotiation stopped in 2017 in Crans Montana, always and exclusively within the framework set by the UN for a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality. This is the only way out, no other proposal is on the table. We are taking the initiative and trying to bring things to the negotiating table,” the Foreign Minister concluded.

When asked if he found an intention from the British side to support the immediate resumption of talks, Dr Kobos said that “every interlocutor who has a real concern for the Cyprus problem wants the negotiations to proceed – London is such an interlocutor, with a timeless role and we expect everyone who has a role to play to bring that pressure and really play a constructive role that will help us all get back to the negotiating table.”

Dr. Kombos extended an official invitation to Mr. Cleverley to visit Cyprus to review the progress of the bilateral relationship.

However, the Cypriot Foreign Minister will be in London again in July for events marking the 49th anniversary of the invasion.

Welcoming the Cypriot minister, Mr. Cleverly expressed his satisfaction with the quick visit by Dr. Kobo, as well as the “gratitude” of the British government for the Cypriot contribution to the Sudan evacuation operation.

“I can’t imagine how we would have done (the evacuation) without your cooperation,” Mr Cleverly said.

The program of the Cypriot Foreign Minister’s two-day visit to London concludes at noon with a working lunch with Labour’s shadow Europe Minister Stephen Doughty.

His meetings with the Chairman of the Inter-Party Parliamentary Committee for Cyprus, Sir Roger Gale, and the leadership of the UK National Cypriot Federation were preceded on Thursday.