TRNC News Today 27th February 2015
Koenig: “Cypriots must choose their ways”
US Ambassador to South Cyprus – John Koenig said that Cyprus is in a turning point. Koenig said “Cypriots must choose their ways. They either choose to improve relations or they will choose the status quo and alienation, a road which is far away from solution.”
Koenig made a speech at the opening of a panel discussion organized in the Center of Sustainable Peace and Democratic Development (SeeD). According to the information given by the US Embassy, in his speech Koenig recorded that research results of the ‘Social Cohesion and Reconciliation Index (SCORE)’ show that Cyprus is in a turning point and bold movements are needed in the island.
Stating that when he came into office in autumn of 2012 there was hope in the island, Koenig indicated that no one has predicted that the ups and downs of the process can take the negotiation process to the point where it is today. Recording that various important incidents happened which affected solution expectancy in Cyprus negotiations, Koenig said “Among these there are economic crises, joint statement and the rocky path of negotiations experienced in the last months”.
Furthermore, Koenig said that the efforts spent for signing the Joint Statement in February 2014 have been allowed to be destroyed in 1 year.
Ports in return for debt relief
Russian leader Vladimir Putin convinced Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades on the issue of giving Russian naval ships access to ports in return for debt relief of 2.5 billion Euros and decreasing the interest rates.
Anastasiades has signed 11 treaties with Russia. The UK, however, reacted strongly to his visit to Moscow saying that “You cannot give an air base access to Russia”. The Greek Cypriot leader could not give an airbase to Russia in Cyprus, but opened all of the seaports which have strategic importance in the Eastern Mediterranean to the Russian navy. Before the visit, Russia extended the credit period of the 2.5 billion Euros given to the Greek Cypriot side in 2011 until 2021.
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