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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-04-05

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek FM`s interview to CNA
  • [02] House of Commons` Committee publishes report on Cyprus issue
  • [03] House President comments on Turkey`s stance

  • [01] Greek FM`s interview to CNA

    Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Stavros Demas has expressed his government`s dissatisfaction over the stalemate in the direct talks to solve the Cyprus problem, stressing that the Turkish Cypriot side has shown continuous retreats in the course of the negotiations. Demas, who will be accompanying Greek Prime Minister Loukas Papademos on his two-day official visit to Cyprus, beginning on Thursday, told CNA that the Cyprus issue remains an issue of invasion and occupation for the Greek government, stressing that Greece will continue to struggle for a just and viable solution and for the reunification of the island.

    He said that the negotiations must be Cypriot-led and Cypriot-owned and that the people of Cyprus should decide upon the future of their united country. Demas also expressed Greece's discomfort over Turkey's threats as regards the assumption of the Presidency of the Council of the EU by Cyprus.Cyprus, an EU member since May 2004, will assume the six-monthly rotating EU Presidency in July 2012. Turkey, which does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus, has threatened to freeze its relations with the EU when Cyprus assumes the EU Presidency.

    The Greek Foreign Minister also referred to explorations and the exploitation of Greece's natural resources, noting that the Greek government has shown its will to cooperate with neighboring countries, including Cyprus. He added that the brotherly relations with the Republic of Cyprus, as well as the steady cooperation with Israel, are the ideal basis for the further development of the collaboration. Asked about the Turkish threats on Cyprus' sovereign right to exploit its natural resources found in its exclusive economic zone, Demas described these threats as unfounded, noting that the international community has condemned them.

    In his interview with CNA, Demas also referred to the current economic situation in Greece, noting that there is a great deal of things that need to be done and therefore the next Government's task is hard.

    [02] House of Commons` Committee publishes report on Cyprus issue

    The British government should offer every assistance to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his Special Adviser Alexander Downer that they might feel would contribute to the securing of a Cyprus settlement by mid-2012, says the Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) of the House of Commons in a report published on Wednesday titled ``UK-Turkey relations and Turkey`s regional role``. The report however stresses that ``if this effort fails and there is still no settlement on Cyprus once Cyprus` period as President of the EU Council is completed at the end of 2012, the government should consider whether any alternative approach to the Cyprus situation, by itself and the international community, might be more likely than previous efforts to yield a settlement``.

    The 200-page report further recommends that the FAC should support the use of prospective revenues from possible gas reserves off Cyprus to facilitate a settlement on the island. The government, says the report, is right to continue to support Turkey`s accession to the European Union, as long as Ankara meets the accession criteria and subject to the government imposing restrictions on the right to free movement from Turkey after it joins. At the moment, the reports reads, shortcomings in Turkey`s justice system are leading to human rights abuses and making it harder to advocate Turkey`s EU membership.

    ``Turkey`s EU accession process is in any case stuck: effectively it is hostage to the Cyprus dispute``, says the FAC. The Committee said that by undermining the force of EU leverage on the stalemate, leads to consequences that are detrimental to UK objectives in Turkey across a range of fields, including not only human rights but also energy and market access issues. The British Government will present its official response on the report in June.

    A Foreign Office spokesperson told CNA that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is committed to supporting the UN's efforts to achieve a settlement ``based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality``. According to the Spokesperson, the Foreign Office welcomes the Committee's endorsement of the government's steadfast support for Turkey's EU accession, as an important element of the bilateral relationship.

    [03] House President comments on Turkey`s stance

    There can be no optimism as regards the future of the direct talks for a solution of the Cyprus problem due to Ankara`s provocative stance, House President Yiannakis Omirou has said, adding that the Turkish stance so far has led to no progress in the negotiations. Omirou, who is currently on a working visit to the Greek city of Thessaloniki, on Wednesday met with Deputy Governor of Thessaloniki Dionysis Psomiades, the Metropolitan Bishop of Thessaloniki Anthimos and the Mayor of the town of Kalamaria Theodosis Bakoglides.

    According to an official press release, Omirou said that there must be a new strategy on the Cyprus issue and a new approach in the negotiations, noting that we need to denounce Turkey`s behaviour and brief the European and the international communities. He spoke of the need to turn to Cyprus` advantage the fact that Cyprus is a member of the European Union and that Turkey aspires to become one.

    The House President also referred to the economic crisis and the current situation in Greece, expressing his hope that Hellenism will give the struggle and will win.


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