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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-01-10

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The government has described as unacceptable and a public relations exercise by Turkey proposals on a political settlement in Cyprus submitted by the Turkish Cypriot side, in the context of the ongoing UN-led negotiations between the leaders of the islands two communities.

    The government also believes that the said proposals are way off what has been agreed as the basis of negotiations for a bi-zonal bi-communal federation for a single state, with a single sovereignty, single citizenship and one international personality.

    These proposals cannot form the basis for discussion, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has said, after a two-hour meeting of parliamentary party leaders, chaired by President Demetris Christofias.

    The Spokesman announced that the National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus problem, will convene on Friday to discuss developments, in the light of the three-day intensive phase of talks President Christofias will begin on Monday with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Ali Talat.

    During the meeting of the Informal Council of Party Leaders, there was an exchange of views between the President of the Republic and the party leaders. At the meeting it was established by everybody that the proposals which the Turkish side has submitted are unacceptable and are way off the agreed basis for negotiations for a bi-communal bi-zonal federation, with political equality as this is defined in the relevant UN resolutions for a single state, with a single sovereignty, one international personality and a single citizenship.

    The President, Stephanou added, told the party leaders that he would attend the intensive negotiations, as always, defending the fundamental principles of the question of Cyprus and negotiating on the agreed basis.

    Asked what the President would do, if asked to accept Talats proposals as the basis of negotiation, the Spokesman was firm: our position is crystal clear. These proposals cannot be a basis for discussion.

    He said that he would not be drawn into a public discussion on how the President will handle such issues.

    On a demand by some party leaders for the President to withdraw his own proposals for a rotating presidency in a federal Cyprus and the presence of about 50,000 Turkish settlers in Cyprus, after a solution, Stephanou said one cannot withdraw ones positions while one is engaged in a negotiating process.

    Replying to questions, he said that as things develop in the current peace talks and comparing the positions each side puts forward at the negotiating table on the basis of what has been agreed it is obvious who is the intransigent party and who diverges from the agreed basis.

    This is the response to those who say that we have to highlight Turkish intransigent stance. Our insistence on the agreed basis for negotiations and our creative positions prove which side has the good will and which side is consistent with this basis, he said.

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