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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-03-26

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic Demetris Christofias has ruled out the possibility of signing an interim agreement in the ongoing effort for a political settlement in Cyprus.

    President Christofias was speaking at a press conference on Friday in Brussels following the conclusion of the Spring European Council in which he participated.

    Replying to a question, he dismissed as unfounded statements by the Turkish Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator for Turkey`s accession negotiations with the EU alleging that Christofias and Turkish Cypriot Leader Mehmet Ali Talat would sign a joint communique on Tuesday, March 30th.

    President made it clear that such a document will not be signed on Tuesday, noting that he had not ruled out any discussion on this matter, if agreed by the two sides.

    We are not talking about signing any such document because this would lead to an interim agreement and there is no way that I would sign an interim agreement in the middle of talks while 5 out of 7 chapters of the Cyprus problem are still pending for discussion and when there are significant differences of views and disagreements on 4 out of 7, the President pointed out.

    As he said there is something devious behind this statement.

    ``I personally do not rule out the possibility of issuing a joint statement, outlining the potential convergence and divergence, but this does not mean it will happen on Tuesday``, he stressed.

    He also said that the matter of issuing or not a joint communique will be discussed at the National Council meeting, scheduled to take place on April 7.

    Invited to comment on information that the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule had activated the procedure for the approval of the direct trade regulation between the EU and the Turkish-occupied area of Cyprus, he said that whoever did this he has made a foul.

    The President said that this issue had not been on the Commission or the Council agenda for three years now, noting that the issue is in a coma, not to say dead.

    He expressed discontent about this development and announced an effort to stop it.

    In addition, he said that he discussed this today with the European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, adding that neither he nor the rotating presidency of the EU were aware of this move by the Commissioner.

    He described the move as ``politically incorrect`` which would create problems in the ongoing talks to reach a Cyprus solution.

    In response to another question, he said that the Republic of Cyprus was not briefed on this matter by the European Commission and that this was a unilateral move by the Commissioner.


    The Cyprus problem was the main issue discussed in Washington on Friday during a meeting between Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus Marcos Kyprianou and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    Special reference was made to the necessity to handle the issue of the town of Famagusta, which has been fenced off since 1974, as a separate matter. The Cypriot Minister noted that the first measure that could be implemented was for UN experts to be allowed to enter the town and begin studies on future reconstruction. Kyprianou said Clinton would be examining the issue ``very seriously`` and that the US ``will do what they can.``

    Speaking after the meeting, Kyprianou said he had the opportunity to brief Clinton on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem and the course of negotiations to reach a settlement, and to elaborate on difficulties expected in the next chapters to be discussed.

    He also noted the important role Turkey has in efforts to reach a settlement, and pointed out that without the positive stance of Ankara, there can be no positive outcome in the negotiations.

    Referring to bilateral relations, Kyprianou said he was satisfied with his discussion with Clinton. ``There are significant prospects to expand relations further,`` he said, adding that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus and the US State Department would be in contact to promote relations.

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