|Saturday, 24 February 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 CYPRUS PROBLEMPresident Demetris Christofias has rejected criticism leveled against him by the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community that he trying to change provisions of the 1960 treaties, which established the Republic of Cyprus.
I seek to change the Zurich and London Agreements which provide that the President of the country is directly elected by the Greek Cypriots and the Vice President by the Turkish Cypriot. Both must be directly elected by the people of Cyprus, on a common ballot, Presidnet Christofias has said.
The President outlined these positions as he addressed 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.
Christofias stressed that each Cypriot, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot, should bear responsibility for the election of the President and the Vice President on a common ballot. In that sense and under this condition, we have accepted the rotating presidency, in the context of the current negotiations for a political settlement, he said.
He explained that in a six year presidency term, the President during the first four years will be a Greek Cypriot and the Vice President a Turkish Cypriot, and during the last two years they will change offices.
This safeguards the unity of the people, the unity of the social classes and not the unity of the one or the other community, he stressed.
Christofias said that Talat accuses him of asserting and claiming the inalienable right of the refugees to choose what to do with their properties in northern Turkish occupied Cyprus and of not accepting Turkeys guarantees of the countrys independence and territorial integrity.
He stressed that the agreed basis, upon which the current UN-led direct negotiations take place, is the bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality as defined by relevant UN resolutions, for one federal state with a single sovereignty, a single citizenship and one international personality.
Had this basis not been accepted, I would have abandoned the negotiations. This basis was accepted in the most official manner and it is recorded in minutes by the UN as the basis for a solution of the Cyprus problem, he added.
We are right in condemning Turkey at various fora, Turkey is the occupation power. However, we have laid down the carpet for Ankara to invade and occupy part of Cyprus. If we want to make friends in the international community, we have to tell this to the world, he added.
The international community, he continued, knows that the 1974 coup d` etat in Cyprus and the fascist EOKA B organisation overthrew the legally elected President of Cyprus (the late Archbishop Makarios) and paved the way for the Turkish invasion.
He also stressed the need for the two communities to apologise to each other for what they have done to each other and the need for Turkey apologise for the crimes it has committed against the people of Cyprus, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.
The President called for self-criticism among the islands two communities, if catharsis is to take place and true reconciliation is to follow, as it has happened in South Africa, which he described as a very good example Cyprus should study.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.
President Christofias and 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.
 HOUSE PRESIDENT US SENATORThe key for a Cyprus settlement lies in Ankara, Cyprus House President Marios Garoyian said here on Tuesday after a meeting he had with US Senator Robert Menendez.
Garoyian described their meeting as very cordial, friendly and substantial, adding that he had the opportunity to brief the US Senator on his views and assessments regarding the first round of Cyprus talks and express concerns and disappointment over the fact that the Turkish side continues to follow a defiant policy, regarding the UN resolutions and the EU principles and values, that leads to a deadlock.
Garoyian said the Turkish side is insisting on a two-state settlement of a confederation, adding that the proposal it submits to the negotiating table do not abide at all by the EU principles and values, the international law and order, the UN resolutions and the High Level Agreements.
He also noted that he told Menendez that the key for a Cyprus settlement lies in Ankara. Additionally, he pointed out to Menendez that pressure must be exerted and advice must be given to Turkey, because it is Turkey, which occupies part of the Republic of Cyprus, which brought and continues to bring illegal settlers on the island and follows policies which are in opposition to the international law.
Garoyian also said that he told Menendez that the role of the US is very important to exert effective pressure towards Turkeys direction.
He added that they had opportunity to exchange views on bilateral relations and the relations of the two parliaments, adding that Menendez and the US Senate are willing to contribute towards reaching a viable, functional settlement of the Cyprus question that will serve the interests of the people of Cyprus in its whole, a settlement that will withstand any difficulties.
 FM OVERSEAS CYPRIOTSForeign Minister Markos Kyprianou has expressed the view that if the Turkish side follows a constructive stance at the negotiating table, then a solution can be found to the Cyprus problem, very soon.
The Minister, who was briefing the overseas Cypriots during 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), said that the Cyprus talks, which began a year ago between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus at the initiative of Cypriot President Demetris Christofias, have as basic element the avoidance of the mistakes made in 2004.
The process, he said, is an open one, and aims to reach an agreed solution without arbitration or deadlines, since they are the two elements which caused a lot of problems in 2004 and resulted to the rejection of the Annan plan by the Greek Cypriot community.
Clarifying that the Greek Cypriot side is the one who wishes for a solution the soonest possible, he said that it is our side who has suffered and continues to suffer the consequences of Turkish invasion and occupation, it is our side who has so many refugees, who lost their properties, who cannot go back to their homes, therefore it is our side who feels the pressure to reach a solution.
 GREECE-CYPRUS DIASPORA COOPERATIONGeneral Director of the General Secretariat for Hellenes Abroad Ioannis Kyparissidis has described as a particularly important development at a crucial turning point for Hellenes Abroad the signing of a Cooperation Programme between the Cypriot Ministry of Foreign Affairs Service for Overseas Cypriots and the General Secretariat for Hellenes Abroad.
In a speech during the 16th Annual Conference of Cypriots of the diaspora, Kyparissidis said that the Programme provides for the cooperation between the General Secretariat for Hellenes Abroad and the Service for Overseas Cypriots as regards the support of networks and organization structures of Hellenes Abroad, the fields of education, culture and art, the promotion of national issues, issues regarding repatriates, the use of EU programmes for citizens of EU member states living in other countries and the communication policy.
He also noted that the Programme provides for the setting up of a Joint Committee, comprising three representatives of the Service for Overseas Cypriots and three representatives of the General Secretariat for Hellenes Abroad, that will meet at least twice a year, every six months, in Nicosia and Athens, respectively.
As he noted, this Committee will prepare specific action plans and will monitor their implementation and the way they evolve.
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