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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-05-16

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias said on Saturday it is important for the new leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Dervis Eroglu to reaffirm the basis of negotiations on the Cyprus problem, that will resume on May 26.

    Addressing a gathering of the Cypriot National Federation in London, Christofias noted that the rise of Eroglu as the head of the Turkish Cypriot community, taking into account his long-standing views on the Cyprus problem, ``creates reasonable concerns with regard to the prospects for a solution to the Cyprus problem.``

    ``It is a common belief of political parties in Cyprus that the rise of Mr Eroglu will make efforts for a solution even harder,`` he said.

    The President recalled that after Eroglu`s ``election``, the government responded with a letter to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, stressing that the talks must resume on the basis of the joint statements issued on May 23 and on July, 1 2008, which refer to a solution of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality as defined by the relevant UN resolutions, a single and undivided sovereignty and a single international personality, and on the principle that ``nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.``

    ``We expect Mr Eroglu to act within this framework,`` Christofias noted.

    Recalling that Eroglu has already responded positively to the resumption of the negotiations, Christofias underlined that `the most important thing is for Mr Eroglu to reaffirm the negotiating basis and to continue from the point that negotiations with Mr. Talat (former T/c leader) were suspended,`` he said.

    Referring to the results of the talks so far, Christofias said he has ``a strong view that we could have achieved more things,`` adding that ``progress could be greater if the T/c side was more consistent at the negotiating table to a solution on the basis of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.``

    With regard to Turkey, the President said that after the election of Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the Turkish Prime Minister, Ankara shifted from the position that the Cyprus problem has been resolved after the 1974 Turkish invasion to the position that the Cyprus problem must be resolved, noting however that a solution to the Cyprus problem is not among Turkey`s top priorities.

    He added that the Greek Cypriot side will not give up and will not abandon solution efforts.

    Christofias said that Turkey`s EU accession course and European aspirations can be used as a leverage to exert pressure on Ankara to change its stance on Cyprus.

    Responding to the views that Cyprus should block Turkey`s EU bid, Christofias said that this ``would annul this leverage as well Turkey`s motive to accept a solution that would serve the Cypriot primarily.``

    Christofias supported the continuation of peace efforts, noting that a stalemate would give Turkey the opportunity to consolidate the occupation and the division of Cyprus.

    With regard to the objections raised against his proposals concerning the rotating presidency, weighted voting and the acceptance in a reunited Cyprus of a number of Turkish settlers brought to the island since the 1974 Turkish invasion, the President noted that the withdrawal of positions submitted to the negotiating table ``would be detrimental as regards the prospects of a settlement as well as for the Greek Cypriot side`s reliability.``

    He reiterated however the principle on which the negotiation takes place, namely that ``that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,`` and underlined that as the negotiations are an open and constant process the President, who is the negotiator of the Greek Cypriot side, can, once he assesses all parameters amend, reshape or replace proposals.

    UN-led talks for a mutually agreed settlement to the problem of Cyprus which began in September 2008, will resume on May 26 after a brief recess for the ``elections`` in the northern Turkish occupied areas of the island, which saw the rise of Dervis Eroglu as the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community.

    Responding to questions about Erdogan`s visit to Greece, Christofias described as encouraging the statement by Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou that Cyprus does not need any guarantors and that the solution process is of Cypriot ownership.

    ``This is a very important statement and shows that Cyprus and Greece have identical views`` he added.

    He pointed out that the improvement of the relations between Greece and Turkey ``is not something negative it is always positive, provided that Turkey is honest.``

    ``Problems can be solved only with talks and not with war,`` he noted, adding that he appreciated ``very much Papandreou`s position that the full normalisation of Greco-Turkish relations can take place once Turkey contributes the solution of the Cyprus problem and terminates occupation.``


    Romania`s Minister of Foreign Affairs Teodor Baconschi has expressed his country full support to efforts of the Cypriot government to achieve a settlement of the Cyprus problem on the basis of the UN Security Council resolutions.

    According to an official press release issued here on Sunday, Baconschi`s remarks came after a meeting with Cypriot Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou, who is paying an official visit to Romania.

    During the meeting, Kyprianou briefed extensively his Romanian counterpart on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem and particularly on a European Commission proposed regulation for direct trade between the EU and the northern part of Cyprus, occupied since the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island.

    The two Ministers also discussed issues concerning the EU, Romania`s economic situation and other international issues.


    Apollon FC Limassol beat on Saturday Cyprus football league runners-up APOEL FC securing the Cypriot football Cup, the sixth in the club`s history.

    Apollon took the lead during the Cup final, in GSZ stadium in Larnanca, Apollon took the lead with Mustafa Bangura which scored in the 45th second of the match while APOEL`s Marcin Zewlakow scored in the 23rd minute. Apollon`s Giorgos Merkis scored the winning goal in the 73rd minute.

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