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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-09-26

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias has reiterated that he will not accept strict timetables and arbitration. In a press conference at the UN headquarters, President Christofias proffered again his hand to Ankara for a direct dialogue, requesting on Turkeys part to give Varosha to the United Nations Administration as a gesture of good will.

    Commenting on Turkish Prime Ministers Recep Tayyip Erdogan statement at the UN General Assembly, he expressed disappointment, noting that this is the position of the National Security Council of Turkey and expressed hope that Erdogan and Turkish President Abdullah Gul will make second thoughts on the issue.

    President Christofias said that he had requested an opportunity to enter a dialogue with them, saying that I understand that they have their own positions on the Republic of Cyprus, but they must proceed beyond that.

    He noted that the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus is a progressive step forward, by a country which is approaching the united Europe with the aim to become a full member.

    He stressed that Cyprus supports Turkey`s accession to the EU, but clarified that this support does not constitute a carte blanche. He added that Turkey must respect Cyprus as an independent state and restore relations with the Republic of Cyprus.

    Asked how many more meetings are needed to solve the Cyprus problem, President Christofias replied: maybe 40 more, maybe 80, as many as needed to solve the problem.

    He went on to say that ``but we do not intend to resign. This is my position and I am sure Mehmet Ali Talats position as well. We want a speedy solution as soon as possible and I mean it.

    Referring to the strict timetables and arbitration, President Chrtistifias underlined that there are bitter experiences of the past.

    Moreover, he expressed regret that during a conversation he had with the Turkish Prime Minister, the latest had told him that the issue of the settlers had been resolved by becoming citizens of the pseudo-state in northern Cyprus.

    He noted that with such positions, even if we meet a thousand times, we will never reach a solution. He also said that as soon as he had assumed the presidency he made some generous offers to the Turkish Cypriots. He clarified that we would not make any other concessions without response from the Turkish Cypriot side.

    Referring to the issue of arbitration, he said that it was a major mistake to accept arbitration in 2004, noting that the imposition of a solution is not accepted. President Christofias said that the outcome of the arbitration would be a solution which would be imposed from outside and this is not effective.

    He reiterated that the solution must be by the Cypriots, for the Cypriots, otherwise, he pointed out, the solution will be neither viable nor functional. In addition, he called on the Turkish Cypriot leader to understand that there could not be any arbitration.

    President Christofias said that to take extreme positions beyond the Annan plan, which was rejected by the 76% of the Greek Cypriots, hoping that some people from outside will come to limit the differences is not productive, adding that we need to become productive to find a solution together, rather than waiting for it from the outside.

    He described Turkey as the key for the solution of the problem, noting that both he and Talat must call Turkey to help by ending its occupation and withdrawing its troops out of Cyprus. Turkey is the key to the solution, he concluded.

    Christofias and Talat have been engaged in direct negotiations, under UN auspices, since September 2008. Bans special adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer attends the talks, which aim at finding a mutually acceptable political settlement that will reunite the country under a federal roof, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.


    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias outlined on Friday, during a working lunch with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, the positions of the Greek Cypriot side and his assessment about the first round of the UN-led direct talks aiming to solve the problem of Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974. President Christofias stressed that the UNs mission is the implementation of the organizations resolutions and noted that the UN officials have to work on this basis. He also made clear that there can be no tight and suffocating timetables and arbitration.

    Referring to statements by Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other Turkish officials about the milestone of December (when Turkey`s EU course will be assessed) and April (when so-called presidential elections will take place in Cyprus` occupied areas), he explained that he has no rejections of solving the Cyprus problem earlier than December. But, as I continuously underline to Mr Talat the one who is need of this milestone has to put on the negotiating table rational positions, which our side can discuss creatively and effectively, he added.

    President Christofias reaffirmed his commitment for a settlement. He noted that joint action with the T/c leader is needed on the basis of the common Cypriot ownership of the negotiations, ``so that we will speak the same Cypriot language, to oblige the foreigners to respect at the end of the day all the people in Cyprus and both communities, and reconsider their stance about the settlement,`` President Christofias said. Answering a question about a statement by a UN spokesman who said that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stressed the importance of political compromise in Cyprus to search for a middle ground, in efforts to find a negotiated settlement, Christofias said that there has been a clarification on behalf of the organization, according to which the UN referred to a middle ground regarding the determination of the two sides for a solution and the creativity of their positions.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. President Christofias and Talat have been engaged in negotiations since September 2008.


    Cyprus Permanent Representative to the UN Minas Hadjimichael has expressed the regret of the government of Cyprus that the positions taken by the Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his address to the General Assembly are clearly disconnected, both in letter and spirit, with the ongoing efforts undertaken by the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, within the good offices mission of the Secretary-General, to reach a political settlement.

    Exercising the right of reply to the remarks made by Erdogan in the general debate of the 64th session of the General Assembly on 24 September 2009, Hadjimichael said in a statement that what is even more disconcerting is the fact that the Prime Minister of Turkey selectively recalls today his countrys role as guarantor power, only in relation to a so called new partnership in Cyprus, a notion that falls outside the agreed basis upon which the talks are being conducted.

    The Prime Minister of Turkey attempts to introduce elements that are not part of the agreed process, such as arbitration and time tables, added. This is an attempt to alter the nature of the negotiations and would also endanger the end result of that process, which is to find a solution by the Cypriots and for the Cypriots, Hadjimichael stressed. At the same time, the Prime Minister of Turkey has suggested that unless the solution to be found falls within specific conditions laid down by Turkey, then the UN and the international community should seek to normalize the status of the so called TRNC, he said.

    Turkey, which is currently serving on the Security Council, should be reminded that its role is to uphold international law and legality and not to call upon the international community, to upgrade an illegal entity that has been universally condemned by the UN Security Council itself, Hadjimichael added. According to him, instead of speaking of the so called isolation of the Turkish-Cypriot community, the Turkish Prime Minister should help the Turkish-Cypriots by allowing the leader of that community to arrive at a solution that would guarantee the legitimate rights of the people of Cyprus, Greek-Cypriots, Turkish-Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins. The isolation that Mr. Erdogan refers to, is the direct consequence of the ongoing occupation of a substantial part of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkish troops, Cyprus Permanent Representative to the UN concluded.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-led peace talks are underway to find a solution, to reunite the country.


    Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou and his Spanish counterpart Miguel Angel Moratinos hosted on Friday in New York a working breakfast for the Olive Group, comprising Italy, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Slovenia. During the meeting, officials discussed EU issues regarding the Mediterranean region.

    Kyprianou also had meetings on the sidelines of the 64th session of the UN General Assembly. He met with the Foreign Minister of Nicaragua and with the Arabic League General Secretary Amr Moussa. He also attended a meeting of the EU with the Russian FM Sergei Lavrov and he had meeting with members of the Jewish-American Committee.

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