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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-04-11

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President Demetris Christofias has stressed the need to find, urgently, a negotiated settlement that will reunite Cyprus, pointing out that this depends primarily on Turkey. The President said that he will continue his efforts towards a solution in earnest, noting however that there is a lot of work still to be done until this goal is achieved.

    We are in urgent need of a solution, but we categorically reject any solution. We also reject a compromise with the current state of affairs and with division, as this poses huge risks for the country and its people, the President said in a speech at a memorial service for a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot, who advocated friendship and cooperation between the islands two communities and who were murdered by a Turkish Cypriot terrorist organization.

    If the current division is entrenched and becomes permanent, it will lead to full Turkification of the northern Turkish occupied part of the country and to a mixed state in the south, the President warned, adding that this would be a disaster for all Cypriots.

    The objective, he pointed out, is a just, under the circumstances, solution which is viable and functional and which will reunite the country under a bizonal bicommunal federation.

    The solution does not depend on us only. It depends first and mostly on Turkey which has not allowed this to happen so far. Ankara has to change its stance, halt communication tactics and actually work, on the basis of UN resolutions, for a political settlement, President Christofias said.

    The pivotal role Turkey is called to play towards this goal, he added, does not annul the role of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities. On the contrary, if the two communities do not want a solution, we shall never be able to find one, he stressed.

    He said that since assuming office two years ago, he has been working within the EU and outside the Union, exploiting every opportunity and every forum to achieve this objective.

    The content of the solution, he added, will be drafted by the Cypriots and not the foreigners and the end product will be the result of negotiations between the two Cypriot communities and not an imposition from outside factors through arbitration and artificial deadlines.

    He called on Ankara to apologise in deeds to the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots whom it has harmed, as he pointed out, following its military invasion in 1974, and continues to hurt for the past 36 years by keeping their country divided and depriving them their human rights and fundamental freedoms.

    The so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, which Turkey continuously cites, is the product of occupation, he pointed out.

    President Christofias said that the solution necessitates consistency with principles but also a show of realism. The passage of time, he added, without a solution consolidates the fait accompli of the Turkish invasion and makes it more difficult to find a settlement.

    Referring to the ongoing UN-led peace talks, he is involved with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Ali Talat, he said all core issues of the Cyprus question have been discussed.

    There has been some convergence on power sharing and governance and less convergence on the economy and EU matters. We appreciate this and we do not underestimate it. It is not enough though. A lot more work is needed to overcome the many differences that exist and achieve more convergences on the rest of the aspects that make up the Cyprus question to pave the way to a solution, President Christofias said.

    He expressed hope that next Sundays self-styled poll in northern Turkish occupied Cyprus will elect a leader for the Turkish Cypriot community who will support the reunification of our common homeland under a federal roof and not the creation of two separate states.

    Paying tribute to Kostas Mishiaoulis and Dervis Ali Kavazoglou, he said their sacrifice is a call for mutual respect and reconciliation of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

    It is an invitation to everybody to recognise differences but also to accept all the values the two communities share which they have come to cherish through coexistence throughout the ages, he said.

    The President described them both as symbols of the struggle of our people to consolidate the Republic of Cyprus and said that they fought against chauvinism and for friendship and cooperation.


    Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou arrives Sunday afternoon in Cyprus on a two-day working visit. According to the official programme of the visit, the Greek Prime Minister will be met at Larnaka airport by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Markos Kyprianou and the Under Secretary to the President Titos Christofides.

    On Monday morning Papandreou will hold a tete-a-tete meeting at the Presidential Palace with President of the Republic Demetris Christofias. An extended meeting will follow with the participation of the leaders of the Cypriot parliamentary parties. The meeting will also be attended by the Greek Alternate FM Demetrios Droutsas, Greek Government Spokesman George Petalotis, Greek Ambassador to Cyprus Vasilis Papaioannou, Cypriot FM Markos Kyprianou, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou and Presidential Commissioner George Iacovou.

    On Monday afternoon Papandreou will meet with the Archbishop of Cyprus, Chrysostomos II and afterwards he will depart for Athens.


    The government has welcomed a visit to Cyprus by the Greek Prime Minister, during which he will have talks with President Demetris Christofias and the islands political leadership. The government, through its Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou, has assured also that it is working, in concert with the political parties, to avert attempts to activate an EU regulation on direct trade between Cyprus northern Turkish occupied areas and EU member states.

    We have always had close cooperation and coordination with Greece, which is our most important advocate in the struggle we are waging to free our country from the Turkish military occupation and reunite the island, Stephanou said hours before the Greek Premier is due here. The visit, he pointed out, will provide a very good opportunity, at an interesting and crucial phase of the Cyprus problem, to discuss, at an informal National Council meeting, all issues relating to Cyprus.

    Replying to questions about renewed efforts in Brussels to introduce direct trade, the Spokesman stressed that the government is working with great attention and decisiveness on the matter, in coordination with the Cypriot Euro MPs from all parties but also with the parties themselves, through their connections with the corresponding groups in the EU. We have legal and political arguments in our hands in this effort, he remarked. He said that Brussels had explained to Nicosia that the process that has been initiated was in the framework of the Lisbon treaty.

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