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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-09-06

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias reiterated on Sunday his unwavering aim for a solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of a bi-zonal bi-communal federation, as this constitutes ``the only realistic option`` for the reunification of Cyprus.

    ``Our commitment is a solution of bi-zonal, bi-communal federation which would safeguard the unity of the state with a single sovereignty, one international personality, one nationality and political equality of the two communities, as defined by the relevant UN Security Council resolutions,`` the President said in a ceremony which he lead the foundation stone of a cultural centre in Larnaca.

    ``This,`` he added, ``is the only realistic option for the reunification of our country, the riddance of the occupation, the entrenchment of human rights, the termination of illegal settlement and the liberation of Cyprus from any form of guardianship.``

    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat began on September 2008 UN-led direct negotiations aiming to achieve a mutually accepted settlement of the Cyprus problem and they will enter the second phase of the talks. Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.


    Turkey must fulfill its obligations if it wants a smooth path to the European Union, President of the House of Representatives Marios Garoyian said on Sunday.

    ``If Turkey wants to proceed smoothly with its accession course, it is obliged to do its duty, to respect its signature and to fulfill its obligations and commitments it has assumed,`` Garoyian said, adding ``otherwise Turkey will not advance smoothly to the EU.``

    Invited to comment on Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu` opinion editorial to a Swedish daily that the opposition to Turkey`s EU bid by some EU member-states spreads doubt among the Turkish citizens and slows the pace of EU reforms, Garoyian said that Turkey itself holds the key to its EU accession course.

    ``Instead of devising problems to his country`s interior it would be wise for Turkey to comply with the international law and the EU principles and values, Garoyian added, noting that ``Turkey must decide that it cannot advance to the contemporary era with neo-ottoman approaches.``

    The House President recalled that the Republic of Cyprus in 2005 did what it deemed correct, allowing Turkey to begin accession negotiations but also Turkey assumed to fulfill certain commitments which are pending ever since.

    ``Consequently if Turkey desires its accession course to advance smoothly it must do its duty and respect the commitments and obligations it has assumed,`` he concluded.

    Cyprus, an EU member-state since 2004, has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. After Cyprus accession to the EU Turkey assumed to extent its Customs Union to all EU-member states, a commitment known as the Ankara Protocol and to open its ports and airports to ships baring the Cypriot flag and to Cypriot airplanes but has denies to implement it ever since. On 2006 the EU decided to freeze eight of the 35 negotiating chapters of Turkey`s EU accession negotiations. The European Commission is expected to issue its new progress report on December.


    Cyprus government has no official information regarding the possibility for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to pay a visit to Cyprus, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has said .

    In statements after a meeting entitled ``The latest developments on the Cyprus problem`` in Pafos, Stephanou pointed out that the UN Chief is always welcomed.

    ``We have said that the UN SG is welcomed to meet the President of the Republic whenever he wishes it,`` Stephanou said, adding that the government would not reject such a proposal. He also said that Cyprus President Demetris Christofias never misses the opportunity to hold meetings with the UN Chief, pointing out that the current talks for a Cyprus settlement are taking place under the auspices of the UN SG in the framework of hid good offices mission.

    On Friday, speaking to the press after meeting President Christofias, UN SG Special Adviser for Cyprus Alexander Downer indicated that the UN Chief might visit the island, hopefully before the end of the year.

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