Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement in Berlin today (11 February) on the occasion of the signing of the joint declaration by President Nikos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Derviş Eroğlu:
Finally, new momentum is being injected into the Cyprus question. I welcome the readiness and political courage displayed by President Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader Derviş Eroğlu in addressing the need to solve this long simmering conflict with renewed energy at this difficult juncture. The division of the island and the artificial separation are a burden not just for the people in Cyprus but also for the region as a whole.
We stand ready to support the negotiating partners on the road to overcoming this separation.
The summit meeting of the leaders of the two communities and the signing of the declaration mark the beginning of negotiations between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary General. The negotiation process was suspended in 2012. The talks are intended to usher in the creation of a bi communal, bi zonal federation in which the two parts pursue a common foreign policy whilst governing their internal affairs independently from one another.