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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-09-26

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    A settlement of the Cyprus problem in the form of a bizonal, bicommunal federation can be truly comprehensive and need not sacrifice justice for the sake of peace, Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said, noting that the Cyprus problem is not a derivative of bad community relations but one of outside intervention, and only progress through preparing the ground can lead to an agreed settlement.

    In remarks at the General Debate of the 62nd session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, President Papadopoulos said efforts to solve the problem have not been filtered through a system of values and norms of international law, have not been tailored to the roots of the problem or even to the problem itself but rather their centre of gravity seems to have been the kind of solution the Turkish occupying power would want or could, at least, tolerate.

    President Papadopoulos referred to the history of the Cyprus problem, noting that ``for many years the UN has made strenuous efforts in trying to broker a solution,`` adding that ``it might be that the task has been so arduous because the truth remains that the Cyprus issue, when stripped of niceties of diplomatic terminology, is a question of foreign aggression and continuing occupation of a significant part of a sovereign state, entailing enclaved and missing persons, refugees and massive and enduring violations of human rights.``

    He posed the question why the problem persists after so many years during which the national, regional and international political landscape has undergone dramatic changes, noting that ``certainly, it is neither for lack of political will nor for lack of effort on our part.``

    ``Rather, the occupying power has not displayed any motivation to solve the problem and this has only been reinforced by the Annan plan which satisfied all Turkish desiderata, thus being readily accepted by the Turkish side. Instead, Turkey has used its dominant position to command trade-offs of all sorts,`` he pointed out.

    President Papadopoulos noted that ``Turkeys long-standing objective of gaining political and military control over Cyprus remains unchanged`` and that ``its actions confirm its dedication to its ab initio pursuit of controlling Cyprus through partitioning it geographically in two ethnically clean parts, with Turkey securing rights of suzerainty and the `right` of intervention in Cyprus.``

    Furthermore, he said that efforts to solve the Cyprus problem have not been filtered through a system of values and norms of international law, have not been tailored to the roots of the problem or even to the problem itself but ``rather their centre of gravity seems to have been the kind of solution the occupying power would want or could, at least, tolerate.``

    He noted that ``shifting the problem from the context of its origin has led to a problem-solving methodology that divides the distance that separates the parties, caving to the demands of the most powerful party and making its success conditional upon the latters magnanimity`` and that ``the occupying power has insisted on discussing elements to the problem that form neither part of its genesis nor of its solution.``

    ``The Cyprus problem is not a derivative of bad community relations but one of outside intervention,`` he pointed out, noting that persisting on a constitutional arrangement, set up primarily on the basis of ethnic origin, without due respect for the overriding democratic principles of liberty and equality of all citizens, ``insults their dignity and condemns the viability of any settlement.``

    Referring to the 8 July 2006 agreement, President Papadopoulos said ``sidelining or circumventing stages of the process will only lead to expediting not the solution, but the confirmation of deadlock.``

    President Papadopoulos said the Greek Cypriot side remains fully committed to the mission of good offices entrusted to the UN Secretary General by the Security Council, ``as it is clear to us that we cannot sustain the status quo and must insist on a meaningful and forward looking process that can elicit concrete results leading to a settlement of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, with the correct meaning of each of these terms.``

    ``The element of time is very important. However, only progress through preparing the ground can bring us sooner to an agreed settlement,`` he added.

    ``To the contrary, we consider that a solution to the Cyprus problem and good neighbourly relations between Cyprus and Turkey are a sine qua non for the stability of both countries and the wider region. An opportunity to put this doctrine to practice has arisen as a result of Turkeys aspiration to join the EU. However, the catalytic effect of this accession negotiation process has not thus far helped relieve the Cyprus problem of artificial and unfounded Turkish concerns and unrealistic policy considerations that have, in any case, been rendered obsolete by the emerging political environment,`` he said.

    ``Turkeys intentions are not only manifest in the non resolution of the Cyprus problem after all these years. They transpire from all its actions: the non normalisation of its relations with Cyprus as a first step to becoming an EU partner, the non removal of any of its troops from Cypriot soil as a confidence building gesture, the intensification of efforts to project a secessionist entity in Cyprus and its systematic violations of our sovereign air and maritime space and of the military status quo,`` he noted.

    President Papadopoulos furthermore referred to the attempts by the occupying power ``to illegally explore my countrys natural resources and to sabotage our sovereign right to explore and manage these resources,`` as well as the ``unauthorised demolitions of Greek Cypriot houses in the areas it occupies`` and the continuing destruction of the island`s cultural and religious heritage.

    ``It has intensified the large-scale illegal exploitation of Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied part of Cyprus, not least because this will skew the terms of a future settlement,`` he pointed out.

    President Papadopoulos added that at the same time ``Turkey pursues its own strategic objectives in Cyprus at the expense of reunification and is only guided by its own interests and not those of Turkish Cypriots.``

    ``It has ascertained over the years that the occupied part of Cyprus would come completely under its political, economic and military control. We regret to note that Turkey has been trying to involve our friends and neighbours in this ill-conceived effort,`` he pointed out, adding that Turkey has been presenting the Turkish Cypriots as victims, with a prime example being ``the ongoing campaign to deceivingly suggest that the Turkish Cypriot community is economically disadvantaged because it is isolated.``

    Considering that the per capita income of Turkish Cypriots ``has doubled over the past three years to the extent that they now enjoy the 59th highest per capita income in the world, one can easily detect the political agenda behind the attempt to link their economic development with the fate of the illegal regime,`` he said.

    ``We insist that a functional and enduring solution is not one that flows from a simplistic formula that merely reflects the power balance of the parties. We are convinced that reaching a settlement well above the lowest common denominator is feasible and the creation of a unified, democratic, inclusive and forward looking society fully assuming its place in the EU is within reach. We are also convinced that a settlement in the form of a bizonal, bicommunal federation can be truly comprehensive and need not sacrifice justice for the sake of peace,`` he said.

    He added that ``lasting peace is elusive without the notion of justice being firmly embedded in its foundation`` and that ``justice should be intrinsic in any political settlement package as a natural consequence of striving to preserve the universal values, which this Organisation is the guardian of.``

    ``Equally importantly, we regard the preservation of our interests and those of Turkey in our region not as mutually exclusive but as complementary and interdependent. Our vision must be to inherit to future generations the legacy of friendship, cooperation and good neighbourliness. We are afforded the opportunity to prevent eternalising this feud and we should seize it,`` he concluded.


    Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov assured Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, during a meeting in New York that Russia`s positions on the Cyprus problem were stable and that he would raise the issue of implementing the 8 July 2006 agreement during meetings he will be having with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Babacan.

    President Papadopoulos said his meeting with Lavrov was held in a very friendly atmosphere and that the Russian Minister assured him of Russia`s support.

    Lavrov will be meeting Babacan on Wednesday and the UN Secretary General on Friday.

    ``I had a very warm meeting with Mr. Lavrov, who assured me that Russia`s positions regarding the Cyprus problem remain stable and will not change,`` the President said.

    He added that they discussed the Gambari process and that Lavrov ``stressed that the whole substance of the Gambari process is the preparation in the committees.``


    Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Walid Al Muallem assured his Cypriot counterpart Erato Kozakou Markoullis that he would personally look into the case of a ship sailing from the closed port of Famagusta to a Syrian port and inform the Republic of Cyprus within the next few days.

    The two Ministers met in New York and, according to Markoullis, Muallem assured her that the so-called foreign minister of the Turkish occupation regime had not visited Syria under any official capacity and had not had any meetings with officials there.

    He added that no agreement had been signed between Syria and the puppet regime regarding a maritime connection between the occupied areas and Syria.

    ``The Syrian government recognises only the Republic of Cyprus and the Cypriot Government and does not recognise the pseudostate,`` Markoullis said.

    Markoullis told CNA that their discussion was very constructive and that they agreed the two countries had to work towards strengthening relations through a political dialogue.

    Furthermore, Markoullis said her Syrian counterpart had invited her to visit his country and that she had accepted the invitation.


    Cypriot Minister of the Interior Christos Patsalides said on Wednesday that illegal immigration from the Turkish occupied areas of the island was one of the most serious problems faced by the Republic of Cyprus today.

    Patsalides could not say exactly how many illegal immigrants were crossing the ceasefire line into the government-controlled areas of the Republic every year, noting however that available data indicated that they reached a few thousand

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