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Russia ready to take part in international conference on Cypriot settlement — diplomat

February 07, 2017, 21:18 UTC+3

A diplomat believes terms for Cyprus’ reunification should be approved by the population at referendum

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MOSCOW, February 7. /TASS/. Russia is ready to take part in an international conference of the Cypriot settlement if necessary, Russia’s Ambassador to Cyprus Stanislav Osadchy told TASS on Tuesday.

"The terms under which the island will be reunified are to be approved by Cyprus’ population at a referendum," he said. "On our part, Russia, as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, is ready to support the positive result of such plebiscite, to guarantee unimpeded implementation of the parameters of comprehensive settlement, to secure the Cypriot communities from imposed ready-to-use settlement formulas in the interests of third players, and to take part in an international conference of the Cypriot settlement along with other member countries of the United Nations Security Council, should it be needed."

He added that terms for Cyprus’ reunification are to be approved by the population at referendum.

He said that it is crucially important "not to hinder the Cypriots" in the settlement process. "Unlike a number of our foreign partners, Russia has been consistently saying that it is up to the Cypriot communities to decide on the settlement parameters, without any foreign interference," he stressed.

According to the Russian diplomat, a favorable environment for the Cypriot settlement came to existence when Cyprus’ President Nikos Anastasiadis and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci took charge of the negotiating process in May 2015. "It did not take long for the two communities’ leaders to established trust-based relations dubbed by United Nations Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide as ‘good chemistry.’ Over the months that have elapsed since then, the communities managed to bridge gaps on a number of aspects on the negotiating process," Osadchy said.

By now, the negotiating process "has actually entered a decisive stage," he said. "For the first time, it has been joined by representatives of the guarantor states - the United Kingdom, Greece and Turkey. Much will now depend on the political will of Anastasiadis and Akinci, their readiness for compromises in the name of the common goal of the island’s reunification," the Russian diplomat said.

Cyprus has been divided into two parts since 1974 after Turkey invasion of the northern part of the island that followed a state coup staged by supporters of Cyprus’ unification with Greece. As a result of combat operations, Turkey won control of about 37% of the island’s territory where the Turkish Cypriot community unilaterally declared independence and formed the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 1983. Turkey is the guarantor for Northern Cyprus while the island’s southern part constitutes the Republic of Cyprus populated primarily by Greek Cypriots. The two communities have been holding U.N.-brokered negotiations for decades.

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