|Friday, 23 March 2018|
Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-08-25
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 PRESIDENT TALKS OVERSEAS CYPRIOTSPresident of the Republic Demetris Christofias has stressed that Turkey has to change its stance, by terminating the occupation of Cyprus northern part and by respecting the human rights of the Cypriot people, if it wants a solution of the Cyprus problem by December.
In his address at the annual meeting of Cypriots abroad, President Christofias conveyed a message to those who have already begun to exert pressure on the Greek Cypriot side, to stop doing that and instead exert pressure on Turkey so that Ankara cooperates in efforts to reach a solution in Cyprus.
The President was addressing the opening ceremony of the 16th Annual Conference of the Central Council of the World Federation for Overseas Cypriots (POMAK) and the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), and the Conference of the Executive Council of the World Organisation for Young Overseas Cypriots (NEPOMAK), which is being held in Nicosia, from 24-28 August.
Referring to the ongoing UN-led direct negotiations which began September 3rd 2008 between himself and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat with a view to find a political settlement, President Christofias said that in a few days, September 3rd, the second round of negotiations will begin.
During the first round of talks, he said, convergence has been achieved in some issues, but also serious deviations and disagreements.
We have already stated that we are not satisfied with the progress achieved so far. We had expected more results. But I have to say that we do not agree with those who are pessimistic, nor do we agree with those who say that there has been great progress, he went on to note.
President Christofias added that there has been progress. We expect more. But important work has been done, on which we will base our hard effort to pave the way for the solution. We will continue this effort, based on the principles of the solution, as outlined in the relevant UN resolutions on Cyprus, international and European law as well as the High Level Agreements of 1977 and 1979. We will continue this effort with determination but also with flexibility, as we have been doing so far.
The Cypriot President urged political leaderships in Cyprus as well as overseas Cypriots to be united during this difficult attempt.
Time is very important for our cause. It is time to intensify our contacts and information about the real developments at the Cyprus talks, he said.
Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leader, he went on to say, appear, for their own reasons, hyper-optimistic.
Instead of changing route and synchronising their steps with ours, having as their compass the High Level Agreements, UN resolutions, international law and human rights Conventions, they arbitrarily interpret historic facts, the UN role and efforts for a solution in order to justify the continuing Turkish occupation of Cyprus, the influx of illegal Turkish settlers to Cyprus and to justify - as new realities - the unacceptable faits accomplis they have created.
The Cypriot President said that unfortunately there are some in the EU and the international community, who back these Turkish efforts.
Turkey and its friends are trying once more to impose false timeframes, having December as a landmark. They even try to bring again to the negotiating process arbitration. These two cannot be accepted by us, he stressed.
President Christofias underlined that if Turkey wants a solution by December, it has to change its stance.
Turkey has to terminate occupation and its policy to bring illegal settlers to the island and acknowledge the inalienable rights of all Cypriots, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins. Turkeys friends in Europe and elsewhere must advise Ankara to do so, instead of covering tactical moves and even threats against the Republic of Cyprus, he stressed.
The Cypriot President warned that those who have already begun to exert pressure on the Greek Cypriot side must change their stance, adding they should exert their pressure elsewhere, not on us.
The Cypriot President said that the Greek Cypriot side is ready for a solution based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation, with political equality as outlined in UN resolutions, and based on the High Level Agreements, EU principles and values.
A functional and viable solution that would restore human rights and basic freedoms for all Cypriots, he continued.
He went on to note that if the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey agree on such a solution, we are ready to conclude even before December. If not, we will not accept a solution for the sake of a solution, just to serve the interests and goals of Turkey and any of its friends.
President Christofias said the Greek Cypriot side is pursuing and struggling for a solution the soonest possible.
I would like to clarify the following. First of all, we pursue and we struggle for a solution the soonest possible, he stressed, adding we acknowledge that the solution will be a compromise, but it has to be based on principles and it has to restore human rights and fundamental freedoms for all the people of Cyprus, to be viable and able to stand the test of time.
Secondly, he added, we pursue a solution that would lead to the termination of the Turkish occupation and the reunification of Cyprus, its territory, its people, its institutions, its economy in the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation.
The President pointed out that the solution of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, as outlined in the relevant UNSC resolutions for a federal Cypriot state, with one and only sovereignty, one identity and a single international personality, is the agreed basis on which current Cyprus negotiations are taking place.
Thirdly, the achievement of a Cyprus solution needs the cooperation of all involved in the problem, he said, adding that for the achievement of a solution, apart from the initiatives that have to be undertaken by both communities, Turkeys cooperation is also needed.
The Cypriot President underlined that without Turkeys cooperation, no solution can be achieved.
Without Turkeys cooperation, there can be no solution. What we constantly ask of the international community is to turn to Turkey and exert its pressure so that Ankara cooperates for a solution, he stressed.
President Christofias said that Turkey has to realize that by cooperating for a Cyprus solution, it would first of all help itself to fulfill its ambitions in the EU.
Clarifying that the Republic of Cyprus supports Turkeys EU prospects, President Christofias noted that this support is not offered without terms or demands.
He said that Turkey has to fulfill its EU obligations, including the ones concerning the Republic of Cyprus.
In view of the evaluation of Turkeys accession course, next December, the EU has to demand the fulfillment of all obligations Ankara has undertaken, the Cypriot President said, adding that this is a token of solidarity among member states and especially towards Cyprus.
President Christofias noted that the government of Cyprus is in close cooperation with the government of Greece with which they coordinate their moves ahead of the December EU Council and expressed Cyprus gratitude towards Greece for its unwavering support and unreserved solidarity it offers to our struggle for justice.
Referring to overseas Cypriots, President Christofias reiterated the governments commitment to offer its support and help solve any problems they face.
Issues concerning overseas Cypriots are high in our priorities, he reassured.
The President noted that overseas Cypriots have offered a lot to Cyprus and emphasized on their contribution regarding enlightenment efforts to inform foreign governments about the political situation in Cyprus.
The main issue which concerns us all is the Cyprus problem. You play your own role in efforts to reach a solution, by maintaining relations with decision-making centers. I am aware of your continuous interest and I acknowledge the role you play and the help you offer to our struggle for a just, under the circumstances, viable and functional solution of the Cyprus problem, he said.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.
President Christofias and Mehmet Ali Talat have been engaged in UN-led direct negotiations since September 2008 with a view to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem. The first phase of the talks was concluded this month and the second round will begin on September 3.
 OVERSEAS CYPRIOTS CONFERENCECypriots of the diaspora, who have gathered in Nicosia for their 16th Annual Conference, have expressed their unreserved support towards the efforts of President of the Republic Demetris Christofias to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem and reiterated their willingness to continue struggling in their respective countries of residence for justice in Cyprus.
The opening ceremony of the 16th Annual Conference of the Central Council of the World Federation for Overseas Cypriots (POMAK) and the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), and the Conference of the Executive Council of the World Organisation for Young Overseas Cypriots (NEPOMAK), took place here Monday.
In his address, PSEKA President Philip Christopher thanked President Christofias for lifting the false impressions that the Greek Cypriots are the obstacle for the absence of a solution in Cyprus.
He said that now there is no doubt that Turkey is the obstacle and referred to President Christofias political courage and good will to our compatriots the Turkish Cypriots, who today have passports of the Republic of Cyprus, come and work in the free areas (of Cyprus), receive free health care and the Cyprus government should be congratulated.
POMAK President Haris Sophoclides said that overseas Cypriots from all around the world have gathered in Nicosia to protest against the injustice in Cyprus.
 CYPRUS PLANES FIRES GREECEThree Greek C-130 transport planes will carry more firemen and fire brigade vehicles from Cyprus to Greece to help put out the raging wildfires, in northeastern Attiki, Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis announced.
The Interior Minister said that the Ministry aims to send a 90-person team, consisting of firefighters and specialised volunteers together with their fire brigade vehicles, to help contain the massive blazes in Attiki.
Sylikiotis pointed out that forces from Cyprus sent on Sunday to Greece are already operating in the area of Nea Makri. Cyprus has already sent 37 firefighters, 16 firefighters of the Forestry Department, 15 persons from the Civil Defense department, two fire brigade vehicles and a firefighting helicopter with a 5-person crew.
The Cyprus government is ready to do all in its power, supported by voluntary teams, to help efforts to contain the wildfires and reduce damage in properties and the environment, Sylikiotis told the reporters.
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