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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 04-02-14

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] US welcomes commitment to talks
  • [02] Papadopoulos assures Cypriots he won’t sacrifice their interests (1)
  • [03] Karamanlis: Compromising arrangement opens path towards negotiations
  • [04] Papadopoulos: sole aim is to improve Annan Plan and achieve solution
  • [05] Germany welcomes successful outcome of NY talks on Cyprus

  • [01] US welcomes commitment to talks

    1105:CYPPRESS:01

    US welcomes commitment to talks

    by Demetris Apokis

    Washington, Feb 14 (CNA) State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher said the US warmly welcomes the announcement by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan that the parties on Cyprus have committed to resume negotiations on the basis of his peace plan, and to submit the resulting settlement to referenda for approval in time for a reunited island to join the EU on May 1st.

    [02] Papadopoulos assures Cypriots he won’t sacrifice their interests (1)

    1250:CYPPRESS:02

    Papadopoulos assures Cypriots he wont sacrifice their interests(1)

    Larnaca, Feb 14 (CNA) -- Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos assured the people of Cyprus that its leadership will not sacrifice the substance for the sake of the procedure nor make any wrong decisions.

    He said the Greek Cypriot side's prime concern is to achieve an improvement of the Annan Plan and a solution which will serve the interests of the whole of the people of Cyprus, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. This is the responsibility and role we undertake and I want the people of Cyprus to be certain that our sole concern is their interest which will not be sacrificed for any expediences or under any pressure.

    Returning from New York where after intensive discussions it was announced by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan that talks will begin next Thursday in Cyprus, President Papadopoulos said our weapon in the negotiations is our faith in the justice of our rights, our argument over the precision of the changes which we pursue in the Annan Plan and unity.

    He said a new round of intensive negotiations will start next week in very tight timeframes which will show whether it will lead to the desired solution or not.

    Papadopoulos said this will depend on the positions which the two sides will present, and more importantly on whether the Turkish side has changed its policy as regards to Cyprus, if it is pursuing a solution so that a reunited Cyprus will enter the EU or whether it insists in its old position for division of the island.

    This was not made completely clear from the New York discussions, the Cypriot President noted.

    Papadopoulos pledged that Cyprus wants a viable and functional settlement based on the Annan Plan.

    He further said that the role of the EU has been significantly upgraded and that he has assurances by Enlargement Commissioner Gunter Verheugen and the Secretary-General that the role of the EU will be diverse at all levels and stages of the negotiations.

    Papadopoulos announced that Verheugen will visit Cyprus a day before the resumption of the negotiations to give the message of the great interest and involvement of the EU.

    [03] Karamanlis: Compromising arrangement opens path towards negotiations

    1400:CYPPRESS:03

    Karamanlis: Compromising arrangement opens path towards negotiations

    Athens, Feb 14 (CNA) -- Greece's ppposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis stated that the compromising arrangement agreed yesterday in New York regading the Cyprus problem opens the path towards a new start of negotiations, with a view to finding a solution based on the Annan Plan.

    [04] Papadopoulos: sole aim is to improve Annan Plan and achieve solution

    1420:CYPPRESS:04

    Papadopoulos: sole aim is to improve Annan Plan and achieve solution

    Larnaca, Feb 14 (CNA) -- Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said his sole aim is to improve the Annan Plan and to achieve a solution which will serve the interests of the whole people of Cyprus, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

    He declared on his return from New York that he will not allow the procedure of the negotiations to end up in wrong decisions or sacrifice the substance for the sake of the procedure, stressing his sole concern is the interest of the people of Cyprus which we will not sacrifice for any expediencies or under any pressure.

    UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced on Friday that talks will begin next Thursday in Cyprus between President Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash under Annan's special adviser, Alvaro de Soto.

    Papadopoulos told the press on his return at Larnaca airport in New York, the Greek Cypriot side was asked to prove that what we had said all along that we wholeheartedly wished for a resumption of the talks based on the Annan Plan, was genuine and sincere.

    He said a new round of intensive negotiations will start next week in very tight timeframes which will show whether it will lead to the desired solution or not.

    Papadopoulos said this will depend on the positions which the two sides will present, and more importantly on whether the Turkish side has changed its policy as regards to Cyprus, if it is pursuing a solution so that a reunited Cyprus will enter the EU or whether it insists in its old position for division of the island.

    This was not made completely clear from the New York discussions, the Cypriot President noted.

    Papadopoulos clarified to the people of Cyprus that nothing has finished. The road is long, and hard. From our side, we will work day and night very intensively in the next days and weeks to achieve the improvements we seek on the Annan Plan so that this round of negotiations will reach a conclusion on which the people of Cyprus will finally make a decision.

    He said our strength, is the unity which was exhibited by the political leadership and the leaders who accompanied him in New York and those who were left behind in Cyprus.

    Our weapon in the negotiations is our faith in the justice of our rights, our argument over the precision of the changes which we pursue in the Annan Plan and unity, Papadopoulos said.

    He added that when foreigners see the unity, which was exhibited in New York, they realise that the people are united and determined to seek the best possible solution under the circumstances.

    A solution, Papadopoulos added, which might not be as fair as it should be or certainly as we wanted, but a solution which is functional and viable within the framework of the Annan Plan.

    Papadopoulos explained that there will be subcommittees in the procedure to cover the mass work that needs to be done as far as legislation is concerned as well as intensive political negotiations between the two parties under the auspices of the UN SG or his representative Alvaro de Soto, to ascertain whether the differences can be bridged.

    I believe that with the efforts we have undertaken and the understanding from the part of the foreign factors and the Secretary-General, we have managed to restrict the arbitrary role which the SG had claimed, so that issues which are outside the framework of the Annan Plan will not be discussed.

    He said he is certain that some of Denktashs demands are completely outside the plan and we have no intention to accept them.

    Referring to the role of the European Union, Papadopoulos said that it has been significantly upgraded and that he has assurances by Enlargement Commissioner Gunter Verheugen and the Secretary-General that the role of the EU will be diverse at all levels and stages of the negotiations.

    Papadopoulos announced that Verheugen will visit Cyprus a day before the resumption of the negotiations to give the message of the great interest and involvement of the EU.

    Papadopoulos thanked the political leaders who accompanied him, including House President and Secretary General of leftwing AKEL party Demetris Christofias, opposition rightwing Democratic Rally party President Nicos Anastasiades, Socialist Movement EDEK President Yiannakis Omirou for their help and paid special tribute to the help offered by former President Glafcos Clerides, who was also in New York.

    President Papadopoulos also thanked Foreign Minister George Iacovou, Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides, the members of the diplomatic service of the Presidential Palace, Cyprus Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Andreas Mavrogiannis and government officials for their help and support during the long discussions both between the Cypriot delegation but also with the SG and his advisers.

    In my view, the significant difference from the previous situation is that these talks will be broad, and we will have the backing of Greece, Turkey and the EU, Papadopoulos remarked.

    President Papadopoulos said that throughout the procedure he was in constant communication with the Greek government and especially with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Greek opposition New Democracy President Costas Karamanlis.

    I want to publicly express my sincere thanks to Mr. Simitis for his wise advice, continued, steady and warm support in our efforts and I believe all the political people in Greece support our effort, Papadopoulos said.

    Invited to comment on the possibility that the solution might not be good, Papadopoulos said if the solution is not good, the political leadership will decide how to handle it at the end of the final stage of the procedures and everyone will undertake their responsibilities.

    Asked if in the event of a "bad solution" the National Council (top asdvisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus problem) will decide if it will go to a referendum, President Papadopoulos said he would not want to comment on hypothetical situations.

    He said the Greek Cypriot side is pursuing a solution, which will secure a functional and accurate constitution which will abolish the dividing line so that a reunited Cyprus can enter the united Europe and function effectively.

    Papadopoulos replied positively when asked if elements contained in Annans letter before the New York meetings that Greece and Turkeys commitments on security issues will be completed with internal procedures.

    This is a central issuewe have secured that the agreement on security issues will precede the referenda, and will be ratified by the Turkish National Assembly.

    He explained that in the past this issue, which is very central to the Greek Cypriot side, was uncertain and reminded that during The Hague negotiations last March, the talks had failed when the Greek Cypriot side had insisted that before a commitment was signed, the treaty should have been ratified beforehand by the Turkish National Assembly, something which the Turkish side refused.

    Papadopoulos said that Kofi Annan stressed without the ratification of this agreement, negotiations could not proceed.

    This time, it has become more clear and categorical. The SG demanded it, and of course we did as well, Papadopoulos said.

    Asked if this is a one-way procedure, President Papadopoulos replied: Why should it be one way? It is a procedure of negotiations with timeframes which intends to end in a solution. If there is no conclusion, then there cannot be a solution without an agreement.

    Regarding the changes which the Greek Cypriot side wants on the Annan Plan, Papadopoulos said they were decided after intense study and experts opinions and are considered fundamental to our side while Kofi Annan assures that they are within the parameters of his plan and not outside.

    [05] Germany welcomes successful outcome of NY talks on Cyprus

    1430:CYPPRESS:05

    Germany welcomes successful outcome of NY talks on Cyprus

    Berlin, Feb 14 (CNA) -- Germany's Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer has welcomed the successful outcome of the talks in New York on Cyprus and the acceptance by all sides of the procedure and timeframe put forward by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.


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