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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-03-30

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Spokesman: We are ready to continue the negotiations
  • [02] Downer to wrap up report to UN chief by Friday evening
  • [03] PASOK leader: Cyprus problem is our primary national issue
  • [04] MEP calls on EU to press Turkey to uncover mass graves

  • [01] Spokesman: We are ready to continue the negotiations

    Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has expressed the readiness of the Greek Cypriot side to continue the negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    In statements at the Presidential Palace on Friday, Stephanou said that the Greek Cypriot side is waiting for the decisions of the UN Secretary General on the future of the negotiations.

    "Our positions are clear. President Christofias has clarified them many times and yesterday, after his meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader (Eroglou) in the framework of the negotiations", he said. The Greek Cypriot side, he continued, wishes the talks to be continued, because, as he pointed out, there is no other way to solve the Cyprus problem other than the negotiations and the bi-communal dialogue.

    "We have a clear position as regards convening an international conference and this position is in line with the position of the UN Security Council, as it has been expressed recently in the resolution 2026", he pointed out.

    Stephanou said that an agreement on the internal aspects of the Cyprus issue is a prerequisite for an international conference, in order for this conference to deal only with the international aspects of the problem.

    Unfortunately, Stephanou said, the negotiations have not been fruitful and this is due to the Turkish Cypriot side, which has violated the commitments that were undertaken by the two sides before the UN Secretary General. Moreover, he stressed, the Turkish Cypriot side puts forward positions that do not serve the basis of a solution for a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.

    Replying to a question, Stephanou recalled that Ban Ki-moon has said he would draft a report. "In this report the Secretary General notes that the situation as regards the discussion of the core issues of the Cyprus problem is not good. Now, it is expected that his top aide on Cyprus will prepare a report to complete the picture", he said, noting that the UN Secretary General will reach his decisions on the basis of that picture.

    "For that reason I would argue that our position is clear: Since we have no solution and no progress, the negotiations should continue in an effort to reach convergences", he concluded.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Since 1974 Turkey occupies 37% of Cyprus` territory in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions, European Parliament decisions and resolutions, European Council decisions and other resolutions of international fora, which condemn the Turkish invasion and occupation.

    The latest round of UN - led negotiations has been underway since 2008 between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus with an aim to reunify the island under a federal roof.

    Community leaders met with UNSG last January at Greentree estate in New York. In statements after the two day meeting, Secretary General expressed hope that the leaders of the two communities will continue their efforts until the end of March, noting that then his Special Adviser Alexander Downer, will assess the situation and submit a report.

    The UNSG added that if Downer`s assessment is positive, he intends to call an international conference on the Cyprus issue.

    [02] Downer to wrap up report to UN chief by Friday evening

    The UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer will wrap up his report to the UN chief on the state of negotiations for a Cyprus settlement by Friday evening, Deputy Spokesman for the UN Eduardo Del Buey has said.

    Referring to Thursday`s meeting of the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, in the framework of UN-led talks to reunify the island, Del Buey quoted Downer as saying that the discussion focused on property.

    He added that Downer also briefed the Security Council in closed consultation and by Friday evening he will also wrap up a report to the Secretary General on the state of negotiations.

    Del Buey noted that Downer plans to meet the Secretary General in mid-April on the way ahead.

    [03] PASOK leader: Cyprus problem is our primary national issue

    The Cyprus problem is always our primary national priority and a determining factor for our national strategy, President of the Greek Socialist Party PASOK said on Friday after the meetings he had with President Demetris Christofias and House President Yiannakis Omirou.

    In statements, after his meeting with Christofias, Venizelos said he and his entourage had the chance to discuss with the President of the Republic about all the critical issues and mainly about the new parameters, which give a new dynamic to the Cyprus problem.

    Referring to the fact that Cyprus is going to assume the EU Presidency as of July 1st, 2012, Venizelos said that ``this could be a minor catalyst as it puts on the table in an institutionalized way the issue of the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus by all those who have European aspirations and we want to help their European prospect and integration. However, this requires respect of European principles, the European acquis,`` he added.

    Referring to the issue of explorations for oil reserves in Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone, he noted that the example of Cyprus is very important for Greece, adding that ``the delineation, not only of the sea shelf, the EEZ and all sea zones constitutes an act of respect towards the international law.``

    [04] MEP calls on EU to press Turkey to uncover mass graves

    Ways to put EU pressure on Turkey to grant access to ``military sites`` in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, where a number of mass graves are believed to be located, were discussed recently between members of the Pancyprian Organisation of Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners and Missing Persons and London Conservative MEP Marina Yannakoudakis.

    Yannakoudakis said that ``all that relatives want is the chance to kiss and embrace the bones of their nearest and dearest before they die, and these now elderly relatives are dying every week.``

    ``Turkey must cease the charade of hiding mass graves in trumped-up military zones. It is time to end the suffering and agony of the relatives who still do not know the fate of their loved ones after decades of uncertainty,`` she added.

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