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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-05-07

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The progress achieved so far in the direct talks between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, aiming at a political settlement, is not what the Greek Cypriot side had expected, President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias has stressed.

    The President also stressed that the solution in Cyprus will not be a two-state settlement but a bizonal bicommunal federation.

    Speaking in Qatar, during a visit at the building site of the new airport part of which is being constructed by a Cypriot company, the President said that despite the numerous meetings that have taken place during the talks, the progress achieved was not the one expected and desired by the Greek Cypriot side.

    ``We expected more progress on the most important aspects of the Cyprus issue,`` he said, adding that ``what we have agreed on to date is far from the core substance of the Cyprus problem both on governance and property issues``.

    The President explained that there is a common basis at the talks and both communities recognise the ownership of property but there are differences in how property owners can be vindicated, and on some issues these differences are important.

    Referring to a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on a property case, he said ``it justifies and confirms our own positions at the talks because we believe that the owner of property and not the current user of the property should have the first say.

    He warned that ``as time goes by and Greek Cypriot properties change hands, things will become more difficult and the position of the Turkish Cypriot side will become more adverse towards reaching solutions on these issues``.

    However, there are some principles which we have to follow and defend, and this is exactly what we are doing, he said.

    President Christofias reiterated that the solution of the Cyprus problem will be a bizonal, bicommunal federation with whatever that entails, noting that the Greek Cypriots should realize that they will not govern the Republic of Cyprus on their own but they will have partners in the running of the country, and these are the Turkish Cypriots``.

    On the other hand, he stressed, some Turkish Cypriots have been intoxicated by the artificial illegal regime, in the northern Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, and it seems they are not too pleased to join a federal state where political equality does not mean numerical equality.

    The solution of the Cyprus problem will not be that of a two state solution,`` he stressed.

    As he said, ``this is a complex and complicated issue but we have to find solutions, this unacceptable situation cannot go on for ever, as it consolidates the fait accompli and creates worse conditions for all Cypriots``.

    He expressed the view that Cypriots have become more mature and are able to decide how to govern their country.

    We do not need guarantors, we are an EU member and I believe the best guarantee for the Turkish Cypriots, who are concerned about their safety because of the past, is exactly our EU membership, he pointed out.

    Referring to Turkey`s EU accession course, he said that ``we support the full accession of Turkey to the EU on certain conditions, noting that ``first of all it should respect the Republic of Cyprus which it does not recognise``.

    Ankara, he said, must fulfill its obligations towards Cyprus and the EU.

    Replying to questions, the President said that as long as Turkeys National Security Council continues to back a two-state solution, the Turkish Prime Minister will continue to support such a settlement, as the Turkish military play a decisive role.

    That is why we are reserved and cautiously optimistic. We look at the balance between the Turkish government, the President and the military, he added, noting that this balance has not tipped in favour of the government because the Turkish military have always maintained a hard position on the Cyprus problem.

    Some of these people, he explained, believe that they have a big say on Cyprus, as an extension of Anatolia, something which hampers the peace effort.

    The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat began in early September 2008 direct negotiations with a view to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem and reunite the island, which has been divided since the Turkish invasion of 1974.


    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias has given the assurance that the efforts to solve the Cyprus problem will be continued with the aim to reunite the island.

    President Christofias was addressing a reception hosted by the Ambassador of Cyprus to Qatar where he is paying an official visit heading a multi member delegation.

    He said that he was visiting Qatar at the invitation of Emir of the state of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, noting that ``this is the first time a President of the Republic of Cyprus is visiting Qatar and the Gulf region``.

    Christofias also noted that ``this visit opens the road to visit more Gulf countries and this is what I will do``.


    Never again, is what Costas and Petros Souppouris wish for, as they prepare to bury five members of their family. The two brothers are survivors of a massacre during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, in the village of Palekythro.

    The Souppouris brothers were speaking to CNA only a few days before the funeral on Sunday of five out of six members of their family, who were murdered during the hostilities and said that one must look to the future for the sake of the generations to come.

    The remains of the five were recently located in a mass grave in the islands northern Turkish occupied areas, exhumed and identified through the DNA method, as part of an ongoing process to alleviate the suffering of relatives of missing persons in Cyprus.

    We hope that what we have been through does not happen again, so that our children do not experience anything like that, Costas said, having narrated the tragic story of the killings by young Turkish Cypriots of five members of his family on August 17th, 1974.

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