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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-09-28

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The government takes all necessary action to ensure that there is no exploitation of Turkish Cypriot property in the southern government controlled part of the country, Interior Minister Christos Patsalides has said.

    He also said that decisions on Turkish Cypriot properties are taken by the Guardian of Turkish Cypriot properties, following careful consideration of the parameters of any given situation.

    The Ministers comments come in the wake of press reports that the state has paid out millions of pounds to Turkish Cypriots in compensation for their land on which refugee estates have been built to house Greek Cypriot refugees, who fled their homes as the Turkish invasion troops advanced in the summer of 1974.

    Before any decision is taken about any sale or purchase of Turkish Cypriot property, we examine very carefully reports and other information at hand in order to ensure the rights of the Turkish Cypriots and see to it that there is no exploitation with regard to the property concerned, the Minister said, replying to press questions.

    He said he has already asked for an investigation into press allegations that the Land Registry may be involved into such deals relating to Turkish Cypriot land.

    Since the 1974 Turkish invasion, the government has entrusted the management of Turkish Cypriot property to the Guardian of Turkish Cypriot properties.

    Patsalides assured Greek Cypriot refugees who are now using Turkish Cypriot land that the Guardian will take any final decision on the future of this arrangement after scrutinising the details of each separate case.

    The Minister reiterated that a self-styled property compensation commission, set up in Turkish occupied Cyprus, has no legal status and pointed out that it is unlawful to apply to this commission seeking damages for Greek Cypriot property in the northern occupied part of the island.

    Speaking on the same matter, Government Spokesman explained that when a property deal is over 200.000 Cyprus pounds, then it is also referred to the Cabinet for the final decision.

    The European Court of Human Rights has ruled on several cases brought before it by Greek Cypriot owners of property in occupied Cyprus that they remain the legitimate owners of such properties, said it considered Turkey responsible for what happens in the north of Cyprus by virtue of the massive presence of its troops and ordered Ankara to allow the Greek Cypriot owners access to their property and pay them compensation of thousands of pounds for loss of use of that property.


    The General Governor of Australia Michael Jeffery has dismissed Turkeys suggestion that a solution in the question of Cyprus must be found on the basis of religion. The Governor said this position was in direct contrast to the notion of peaceful coexistence without discrimination. The Governor outlined his views during a meeting with Cyprus High Commissioner to Australia Filipos Kritiotis, who had presented his credentials.

    On the question of Cyprus, the General Governor said that the Turkish position that a political settlement in Cyprus must be based on the two religions observed on the island is contrary to the idea of peaceful coexistence, without any discrimination. He reiterated Australias support to effort made by the government of Cyprus for substantive negotiations leading to a settlement.

    In this respect, he referred to the contribution of the Australian envoy dealing with Cyprus Jim Short, who intends to tour the region to be briefed on the latest developments.


    The government of Cyprus is neither expecting too much nor is it underestimating US intentions to help make headway towards a political settlement, that would reunite the country, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion, Government Spokesman Vasilis Palmas has said. The spokesman also said that the government has crystal clear positions, knows exactly what it wants from the international community in terms of a solution and is committed to a UN-brokered agreement in July last year between President Papadopoulos and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community.

    The government does not have any intention of creating high expectations from Washingtons recent interest in Cyprus nor does it wish to undercut a priori a positive intention on the part of the US, Palmas said, in response to remarks by a senior US Administration official. It would be untimely and wrong to interpret US remarks by the Undersecretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns as superseding the July agreement, Palmas added when asked to comment on misgivings expressed about US designs with regard to Cyprus.

    The US official said that Washington wants to have a new beginning with the government of Cyprus, talked about efforts to create that climate for a new relationship and said that the US would recommend to the UN to make a new attempt, to appoint a negotiator, lead international negotiations for peace for Cyprus. The spokesman acknowledged that in the recent past US-Cyprus relations had been strained, in particular after the Greek Cypriots rejected in April 2004 a UN-proposed solution plan.


    The government of Cyprus may send an envoy to Syria in an attempt to settle a dispute between the two countries which erupted after a Turkish ship, which left the Turkish occupied port of Famagusta, in Cyprus northern part, docked at Latakia. There is an ongoing dialogue with Damascus on this issue at different levels and it is possible that we may send an envoy to Syria, Government Spokesman Vasilis Palmas has said when asked if the government intends to dispatch Vassos Lyssarides, honorary president of the Social Democrats Movement EDEK to Syria.

    Palmas recalled that foreign ministry technocrats from both countries are dealing with the matter and said that the foreign ministers of Cyprus and Syria met earlier in the week in New York and Cyprus Ambassador in Damascus is also dealing with the issue. This dialogue will continue and shall not cease as long as the matter is pending, Palmas stressed.

    The Turkish occupied town of Famagusta has been declared by the government of Cyprus a closed port following the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island. The UN has described the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime, in occupied Cyprus, as legally invalid, calling on all states not to recognise or facilitate it in any way. Cyprus and Syria enjoy very good and friendly relations, which seemed to have been tarnished to some extent as a result of this incident.

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