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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-07-13

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Party leaders on first round of talks

  • 2330:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Party leaders on first round of talks

    Larnaca, Jul 13 (CNA) -- Political party leaders were neither pessimistic nor optimistic on the results of the first round of direct talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and remain reserved on what will emerge out of the second round of talks set for mid-August, in Switzerland.

    In statements on their arrival here from New York, where they accompanied President Clerides to the talks, the party leaders refrained from assessing an unofficial UN document submitted during the negotiations, that took place in Troutbeck, July 9-12.

    Left wing AKEL General Secretary, Dimitris Christofias, said he returned from the talks with the same "reserved" feelings he had expressed before his departure, but pointed out that the Cyprus problem is at the same point as it was after the last round of UN-sponsored direct talks in 1992.

    Noting "four-and-a-half years have been lost" and blaming the government for what he called a "delay" in proceeding with direct talks, he expressed hope that "the intransigence of both Denktash and Turkey, will have broken in the second round of negotiations."

    Centre right Democratic Party (DIKO) President, Spyros Kyprianou, disagreed that any time was lost in moving on with direct talks and added that a UN document presented in New York by the UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor on the Cyprus problem, Diego Cordovez, "will not present us with a new picture, but it will repeat the same picture as before".

    He supported the aim is for the Cyprus talks to end just as accession negotiations between Cyprus and the European Union would begin, in 1998, so that "tremendous pressure would be put on our side and to find ourselves faced with serious dilemmas."

    Kyprianou added that Cyprus' accession to the EU must not be pursued at the cost of "any trade-off".

    He noted a UN document presented at the direct negotiations does not cover the fundamental aspects of the Cyprus problem and stressed that if Turkey "is not obliged to abandon its expansionist policy, then no solution will be found."

    Socialist EDEK party President, Vassos Lyssarides, said the UN document contained "totally unacceptable suggestions" and blamed the Clerides government for its contents.

    Noting the UN document "did not come from Mars", Lyssarides said the government bears the brunt of responsibility for not making its positions clear during the proximity talks held prior to the convening of the direct talks. He also said the UN document cannot constitute the basis of a comprehensive solution if it does not include key aspects of the Cyprus problem.

    On his part, United Democrats (UD) President, George Vassiliou, said the Greek Cypriot side's position is now weaker than it was during the 1992 direct talks, during his term as President, and noted that five years have been lost in the peace process. He added that although a comprehensive document was presented in 1992, only the introduction to a comprehensive document was submitted in these negotiations.

    Vassiliou stressed it would be "inconceivable" for the Greek Cypriot side to refuse going to the second round of talks and likewise a refusal to sign a UN document could have "negative consequences".

    Describing the Troutbeck talks as "the most important process towards a solution to the Cyprus problem since (the Turkish invasion and occupation of part of the island in) 1974," Liberal Party President, Nicos Rolandis, dismissed the gloomy picture painted by other leaders over the UN document.

    Rolandis pointed out that the Greek Cypriot political leaders had accepted a similar document in 1992 and had then only expressed reservations over the sovereignty issue.

    He admitted, however, that certain parts of the document "should be improved" and stressed that an effort must be made to resolve the Cyprus issue if Cyprus is to be reunified.

    New Horizons Party President Nicos Koutsou observed that the Cyprus problem is not being dealt with either by the UN or other third parties as an issue of invasion and occupation, but rather as "a clear issue of give- and-take between the two communities."

    Koutsou expressed the view that the solution expected to be presented before the two sides does not safeguard human rights or basic European principles and "will create rather than solve problems."

    CNA MH/MA/1997

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