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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-12-04

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of Israel Shimon Peres has said that setting timeframes does not contribute to the solution of problems which have to be negotiated and expressed the wish that the Cyprus issue is soon solved.

    President Peres received Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Markoullis who is currently in Israel for a working visit.

    The Israeli President also made reference to Cyprus economic accomplishments and said that Cyprus has managed to become one of the most popular tourist destinations.

    Referring to the Cyprus problem he noted that setting timeframes does not contribute to efforts to reach a solution of problems which are to be negotiated.

    The Cypriot Foreign Minister held in Israel a series of meetings, including a meeting with her Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni, the leader of the opposition party at the Knesset Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as with Israeli MPs whom she briefed on the positions of the Greek Cypriot side regarding the Cyprus issue.

    In her statements, Markoullis noted that Turkey is intensifying provocations and makes public and official statements on the creation of two separate states in Cyprus.

    She briefed the Israeli President on the latest developments regarding the Cyprus issue and on the refusal of the Turkish side to implement the July 8th Agreement, agreed upon the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot leaders on July 8th, 2006 with an aim to reach a Cyprus solution.

    She reiterated that the Republic of Cyprus favors Turkeys EU bid, provided that Ankara fulfills its EU obligations, including the ones related to Cyprus, obligations which Turkey still refuses to meet.

    The Cypriot FM also referred to the long standing historical ties and traditions between Cyprus and Israel and added that the purpose of her visit to Israel is to further enhance bilateral ties.

    Markoullis was briefed by the Israeli President on the international Meeting in Annapolis, USA, for a Middle East solution.

    Earlier, Markoullis met with her Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni with whom she reviewed the Cyprus Israel bilateral relations and examined ways to further enhance them by signing new bilateral agreements.

    The Foreign Minister referred to the usurpation of the Greek Cypriot properties in the Turkish occupied areas stressing that the number of Turkish Cypriots living in the occupied areas has a decreasing trend due to Ankaras policy of settling the occupied areas with Turkish settlers.

    Referring to Cyprus efforts which aim at improving the living standard of the Turkish Cypriot community, Markoullis emphasized on the measures taken by the government of Cyprus for financially supporting the Turkish Cypriots.

    Both Ministers exchanged views on different regional and international issues.

    The Cypriot Foreign Minister met with leader of the opposition party Likud, Benjamin Netanyahu, whom she briefed on the latest developments of the Cyprus problem.

    Markoullis noted that the Greek Cypriot side pursues a solution based on the relevant UN resolutions and in line with the acquis communautaire.

    She also referred to the Cyprus very good economic indexes as well as to the benefits which arise by Cyprus accession to the Eurozone for both the Greek Cypriots as well as for the Turkish Cypriots.

    During her visit she met with members of the Cyprus Israel Friendship Group at the Knesset with whom she discussed the Cyprus problem and the Middle East issue.

    She also visited the Holocaust Museum and laid a wreath at the Hall of Remembrance.


    Francis Wurtz, Chairman of the Confederal Group of the European United Left - Nordic Green Left to the European Parliament, said that it is impossible for initiatives to be undertaken on Cyprus before the upcoming presidential elections scheduled for February 2008.

    In statements on the sidelines of a meeting organized by the Group in the presence of the Cyprus House of Representatives President Demetris Christofias, who is visiting Brussels, Wurtz however said that ``whatever comes next (after the presidential elections) should be based on the international law, leading to a viable and lasting solution.``

    According to Wurtz, there are many aspects of the Cyprus problem which are not negotiable and should be solved on the basis of the international law.

    During the meeting the Cypriot House President briefed Members of the European Parliament on the latest developments of the Cyprus problem.

    ``We should convince our Turkish Cypriot compatriots to sit on the negotiating table and say `mea culpa` each on their behalf,`` Christofias said, adding ``we should say to our mother countries that this island is ours and with no foreign interventions we will safeguard the human rights of the people under a federal state.``

    Christofias also pointed out that the so-called ``isolation`` of the Turkish Cypriots is solely due to the Turkish occupation.


    Foreign Ministers of Greece and Turkey, Dora Bakoyiannis and Ali Babacan, held a meeting in Athens during which they discussed the Cyprus issue, the EU Turkey relations, as well as their bilateral ties.

    In statements after the meeting, Bakoyiannis underscored the importance of reaching a just, viable and functional solution to the Cyprus issue.

    Turkeys application for membership in the EU has opened up a new chapter not only for the Turkish people but also for our bilateral relations and the whole region, including Cyprus, Bakoyiannis said.

    The Greek Foreign Minister pointed out ``the importance in achieving a just, viable and functional solution of the Cyprus problem on the basis of a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    Babacan, who pays Athens his first official visit, said that Turkey would make every effort to resolve the Cyprus issue within the parameters of the United Nations.

    ``Our goal is to further promote our friendly relations, which keep developing. In addition, regarding Cyprus, this is an issue, which concerns us too. Turkey will make every effort to help solve this problem in the framework of the UN decisions, he said.


    The UK/Turkey Strategic Partnership is intended to promote reunification of Cyprus and does not change in any way the long-term policy of Britain on the Cyprus question, which is unconditional support for the implementation of the UNs 8 July 2006 agreement, British Minister for Europe Jim Murphy has said.

    Responding to questions tabled by British MPs before the House of Commons, Murphy said the UK fully supports the 8 July 2006 process, adding that time is not on the side of a settlement. We continue to urge both sides to show the flexibility necessary for the technical committees and working groups envisaged under this agreement to begin work, and to prepare the ground for fully fledged settlement negotiations as soon as possible, he noted.

    Murphy also said that the British Government estimates that there are between 20.000 and 30000 Turkish troops in the occupied part of Cyprus and expressed the belief that a reduction in the number of Turkish troops would help build trust on the island.

    As he noted, UK Ministers have called for a goodwill gesture from Turkey in the form of a troop reduction, in order to build trust on the island.

    He also said that property development in northern Cyprus has clearly accelerated since the rejection of the Annan plan, resulting in large numbers of new properties being built and added that the British High Commission in Nicosia regularly raises the issue of property development with the Turkish Cypriot leadership.

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