‘Solution will benefit both sides’ of Cyprus
Well known businessman Photos Photiades, founder of the Photiades Group of drinks companies, has appealed to both community leaders to sit down before entering substantial talks “and with a sound mind, determine with all honesty what it is that would benefit all of the people of Cyprus, in the longer term.”
Appealing to both Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci, both of whom Photiades believes are genuine in their effort to reach a settlement, he said that they should see the real benefits and prospects that Cyprus could have, after a fair solution.
Cyprus, he said, could play a crucial geostrategic role and through a solution would gain the trust of the EU as a secure partner in the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, especially with countries that Cyprus already enjoys excellent relations.
“As a hub, Cyprus could become the golden bridge between EU member states and our neighbours and secure a leading role for our small nation. This is a realistic approach and after peace and stability settle in, Cyprus could become a sought-after international business centre for the whole troubled region,” Photiades said.
“Already the European Council’s Vice President and High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini highlighted this fundamental advantage that Cyprus has,” he said, adding that Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker “has repeatedly expressed his open support and his commitment to a genuine European-based solution.”
Photiades added that when such a solution is reached, Cyprus could also be recognised as an ideal place to host a major international, EU or UN organisation, due to its proximity to the troubled area.
He said, however, that such a solution could only come from a viable solution, with promises for a safe future, based on European principles and put an end to all sort of adventures that Cyprus could otherwise get into.
The veteran businessman, who set up the Carlsberg brewery in the early 1960s, said he has seen a lot of fear, darkness, instability and doubt all these years since independence, with a solution imposed on Cypriots that led to the continued pain and suffering of both peoples.
“On the contrary, a clear solution with a vision would allow Cyprus to undertake and develop its own independent role for the EU and its neighbours with the relevant rewards,” Photiades said, adding that the recent finds of hydrocarbons could transform it into one of the richest nations in the world, with some benefits even trickling back to the two guarantor powers, Greece and Turkey, instead of burdening them, as is the case today.
However, he warned that the two leaders, as well as the Turkish Cypriots in general, “who are also victims of the Turkish occupation”, should not disregard some historical facts, such as the Nihat Erim plan devised in the 1950s for the complete occupation of the island, which constitute the pillars of Turkish policy on the Cyprus issue.
“These reports continue to be the basis of Ahmet Davutoglu’s dogma, as appears with fanaticism in the ‘deep state’. For a proper solution to the Cyprus problem to get underway, Turkey must unequivocally declare that it has abandoned its ambitions and withdraw its troops and settlers,” Photiades said.
He added that the occasional talk among Turkey’s leaders for a quick solution, even within 2015, is not accompanied by any specific commitment for any withdrawal, which suggests that Turkey wants a solution based on its own terms.
“This is a golden opportunity that should not be lost by the two community leaders. A solution should ensure full independence and long-term security. This is the only way that all the residents of this island will eventually enjoy growth and prosperity,” Photiades concluded.