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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-12-03

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias has stressed that Cyprus enjoys all the rights, which every EU member state has within the Union.

    The President was speaking ahead of next weeks assessment of Turkeys EU accession progress by the December European Council.

    In statements Thursday on his return to the Presidential Palace after the conclusion of his meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, President Christofias said he held a friendly discussion with Talat on the issue of governance, asylum, aliens, citizenship and immigration. During the next meeting, he said, they will discuss economy.

    Invited to comment on statements by the Turkish Foreign Minister regarding Ankaras respond should the EU impose sanctions for its non - compliance with its EU obligations, President Christofias said that this response reflects Turkeys policy, which has not yet changed.

    Asked whether Cyprus still has the right to freeze EU Turkey negotiation chapters, he said we have all the rights which every member state has, pointing out that the government coordinates efforts with the Greek government, ahead of the EU Council which will assess Turkey`s progress.

    Regarding his meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader, he said they exchanged views on the issue of governance, asylum, aliens, immigration and citizenship, noting: we have not yet anything to announce. But it was a friendly discussion.

    President Christofias expressed the view that an open discussion improves the climate, but this does not mean that there is a concrete outcome which we can announce.

    It was an open discussion. This happens at negotiations, especially when the interlocutors know each other for years and have had a close relation in the past.

    President of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat have been engaged in direct talks since September 2008 with a view to find a mutually acceptable solution that will reunite the country, divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the islands northern third.

    After Cyprus` accession to the EU, Turkey refused to extend its Customs Union to Cyprus, a commitment known as the Ankara Protocol, to open its ports and airports to vessel and aircraft bearing the Cypriot flag and to normalise its relations with the Republic of Cyprus.

    In 2006, the EU decided to freeze eight of the 35 EU Turkey negotiating chapters due to Ankara`s refusal to comply with its EU obligations. The rest of the chapters continue to go ahead, but the eight shall not be concluded until Turkey fulfills its obligations.

    The EU will assess Turkey`s progress at the December EU Council.


    UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer, said the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus had a very constructive meeting on Thursday where they had a broad discussion, in the framework of the ongoing UN-led direct negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, together with their representatives George Iacovou and Ozdil Nami, met with Downer for two and a half hours and had an opportunity for a very broad discussion on the process of course, focusing on the citizenship question and other issues as well, Downer said.

    He added that it was a very constructive meeting, held in a very positive atmosphere. The next meeting is going to be next Wednesday said Downer, and it will take place at the UN Protected Area of the now defunct Nicosia international airport.


    UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is expected to sign his report on his good offices mission to Cyprus on Thursday.

    Diplomatic lobbying continued at UN headquarters and in Nicosia on Wednesday regarding the final text of the report, with Cypriot and Greek diplomats holding meetings with senior UN Secretariat officers, while the UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer, went over some of the report`s points in Nicosia.

    The report, which will bear the number S 2009/610 and will be dated November 30, was given to the Security Council members on Monday. The official text is expected to circulate on Thursday or Friday, with certain amendments.

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