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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-05-17

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias has assured that he will spare no effort to reunite the country, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    Speaking on Saturday to Turkish Cypriots in London, President Christofias expressed hope that he and Turkish Cypriot Cypriot Mehmet Ali Talat share the same vision, a progressive vision for a united Cyprus with all the Cypriots living together in peace and prosperity. This is my vision. This is what ordinary people from both communities expect. If we don`t achieved a noticeable progress, people will be disappointed.

    Referring to the opening of a crossing point in Limnitis, on the northwest, to facilitate movement to and from the northern Turkish occupied areas, he said the Turkish Cypriot side had put forward ostensible excuses to avoid opening this crossing point and ended up demanding fuel supplies for the Turkish occupation army in the area, something the President described as unacceptable.

    Fuel is a kind of ammunition, he pointed out and noted that at present there is a proposal to supply electricity to the area. He said he expects a positive response from Talat on this matter, at their next meeting, in the context of the ongoing UN-led negotiations.

    Regarding the direct talks, he said that the basis has been established but more things must be done, to ensure that this basis is sound in order to build the united Cyprus.

    Referring to the property issue, President Christofias said that both sides recognize that the owners of property over the 1964-1974 period are the real proprietors, adding that now the issue is to decide how to handle current users of such properties. There is a humanitarian and a political issue at hand, he pointed out, stressing that European principles and values must be taken into consideration when reassessing this issue.

    On governance, he said the islands two communities will share power in all the instruments of the united federal Cyprus Republic. Given that Turkeys National Security Council and others have given different interpretations to a bicommunal bizonal federation, the President explained that he and Talat have accepted that there will be a single state, united, federal with one sovereignty, one nationality and one international personality.

    With regard to external affairs, Christofias said there are convergences and differences, and the same picture is true when it comes to economic issues.

    Territory and security issues have not been discussed yet, he explained.

    Regarding the issue of illegal Turkish settlers, President Christofias expressed hope that the Turkish Cyptiot leader will not expect any further recessions from the Greek Cypriot side, adding that his impression is that the Turkish Cypriots want to be the majority in the region of the federal state, which is to be administrated by them.

    He said, following a request by Talat, he has given demographic data regarding the population in the Cyprus Republic since 1963, according to which Cypriot nationality was given to 24.000 persons most of them not Greeks.

    The Turkish Cypriot side has not yet come forward with similar data, he noted. I am not blaming Talat for this but when this issue is discussed at the negotiating table we must be honest and frank, he stressed.

    The Republic of Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Christofias and Talat have been engaged in talks since September last year with a view to find a negotiated settlement to reunite the country, under a federal roof.


    The Greek Cypriot side will not sacrifice the quality of a solution of the Cyprus problem for the sake of time, Government Spokesman, Stephanos Stephanou stressed on Sunday, in his oration at the funeral of Aristofanis Andreou, missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion, whose remains were located in a tomb in the occupied areas.

    The solution must heal the wounds which are still open since 1974 and it must also create all the necessary conditions for permanent peace and security, he added.

    Stephanou said that they will continue efforts for a settlement based on the 1977 and 1979 high-level agreements between the two Cypriot communities, UN resolutions on Cyprus, international and European law. A comprehensive solution based on principles to give the opportunity to Creek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins to live and build their present and future in conditions of permanent peace and security, he pointed out.

    The ongoing negotiations aim at a bizonal, bicommunal federation who will consolidate human rights and the fundamental freedoms of all the Cypriot people, where Cypriots will be the masters of their own country, he added.


    UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon believes there has been encouraging progress in the UN-led Cyprus peace talks, but at the same time he calls for an increase in the pace of the talks to help achieve a comprehensive political settlement.

    In his report on the renewal of the mandate of UNFICYP (UN peace-keeping force in Cyprus) covering the past six months, submitted to the Security Council members, the Secretary General also says that the two community leaders have to sustain the momentum of the peace process.

    Ban calls for the opening of the Limnitis crossing point without further delay, on the northwest of the island, to facilitate movement between the islands northern Turkish occupied areas and the southern government controlled part of the country.

    The Secretary General reiterates his unwavering support for the peace process and expressed readiness to offer more assistance, if requested, while he recommends the renewal of UNFICYPs mandate for another six months.

    He welcomes the progress achieved in the Committee of Missing Persons (CMP) to establish the fate of missing persons in Cyprus and describes the clearing of minefields in the buffer zone as an important CBM (confidence building measure).

    The Secretary General in his report, to circulate officially on Monday, notes that since his last report the parties maintained a steady rhythm of meetings, conducting the negotiations in a positive and constructive manner. The parties now move closer to the end of the first reading of the different issues, having recorded convergence on many points, adds.

    As I have said on previous occasions, this is of little surprise as the broad outline and established parameters of the solution are well known and already articulated by the two sides. Nor are they starting from scratch, but have the advantage of a significant body of work to draw upon, he adds.

    He points out that while areas of significant divergence may be fewer, most are nonetheless fundamental, reflecting the challenge of translating the agreed objective of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality into a functional united Cyprus, where legitimate interests are not only represented but also effectively pursued.

    My overall assessment is that while the parties have made steady progress, I see a need for an increase in the pace of the talks as the sides start to address issues more holistically. Indeed the parties themselves recognize that a settlement will be harder to reach as each day passes without a solution. They also acknowledge that the status quo is unacceptable and the process cannot be open-ended. The spirit of the negotiations and the constructive and open manner in which the two leaders are approaching the talks, demand that the solution should be achievable within a reasonable time frame.

    The UNSG notes the excellent personal chemistry between the two leaders which remains strong, despite as he says the challenges facing them both in the negotiations and domestically. Their often long one-on-one meetings prior to the plenary sessions are evidence of their mutual commitment and determination to see the process though. Together they have taken ownership of and full responsibility for the process. The challenge for them as partners and not adversaries is to sustain the momentum of the process that they have begun as they enter the next phase of the talks.

    The leaders close relationship has led to a lessening of the mutual public recriminations that were more prevalent in the past, he notes. At the same time he describes as discouraging that during the reporting period, polls have clearly shown a high level of skepticism among the respective populations towards the on going negotiations.

    Given that any eventual agreement will require popular support expressed through simultaneous referenda, it is imperative that the leaders develop strategies to actively communicate to their respective constituencies the economic, political, security related and many other benefits of a solution and that a solution will be impossible without compromise.

    Considering Confidence Building Measures, Ban Ki-Moon stresses that it is disappointing that the parties have made little progress on the implementation of nearly two dozen CBM agreed the preparatory phase of the talks. The apparent lack of political will to implement the agreed measures constitutes an opportunity missed in building public support within the communities for the process and creating an improved inter communal atmosphere crucial to a future united Cyprus.

    Military and other confidence building measures, such as the creation of crossings, including at Limnitis/Yesilamak, and the implementation of the second phase of the restoration of the Ledra street crossing, which UNDP stands ready to fund, would greatly contribute to an improvement in the atmosphere on the island. I call upon the parties to implement these measures without further delay, Ban says.

    The UNGS says further that the establishment of economic, social, cultural, sporting or similar ties and contacts will impact positively on the ongoing efforts, noting that such contacts would not amount to recognition but rather nurture a sentiment of trust between the communities and help ease the sense of isolation felt by the Turkish Cypriots.

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