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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 03-11-26

Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

  • [01]Wednesday, 26 November 2003 President Papadopoulos: The functional solution of the Cyprus problem is a prerequisite for the viability of the State
  • [02] US Congressmen urge Turkey to comply with ECHR decision in Loizidou case

    [01] President Papadopoulos: The functional solution of the Cyprus problem is a prerequisite for the viability of the State

    "The functional solution of the Cyprus problem is a necessary prerequisite for the viability of the State and so that Cyprus can function within the European Union as a constructive partner and not as a nuisance", the President of the Republic, Mr Tassos Papadopoulos, noted speaking yesterday evening in Athens at the official dinner hosted in his honour by the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr Constantinos Stephanopoulos. President Papadopoulos, who is in the Greek capital on a three-day official visit at the invitation of Mr Stephanopoulos, reiterated the readiness of the Greek Cypriot side to engage in UN-led talks for a settlement on the basis of the Annan Plan and added, "We do not aim at the transformation of the structural philosophy of the plan nor to the amendment of its parameters, we merely want to identify and correct points of non functionality and consequently non viability of the possible solution". He further said that the Greek Cypriot side did not aim to take away any rights from the Turkish Cypriots, as it considered them as "the real partners in the new state of affairs, in a condition of political equality vis-a-vis the state and the law, with respect for human rights and the basic freedoms of all citizens". Noting the intransigence of the Turkish side in the efforts for a settlement, Mr Papadopoulos said that "if there is a change of leadership now in the Turkish side and a change in the intransigent stance of the Turkish side it is possible that things may change; of course the decisions are taken in Ankara which has stuck in the mud of intransigence, arbitrariness, and violation of every moral rule and international law". "We desire a solution of the Cyprus problem before the 1st May 2004, so that the reunited Cyprus will accede fully to the European Union. If this is not achieved by then, we will persist and will continue our efforts for the reunification of our country. We desire to enter Europe with a European vision and to work within Europe for the common good of Cyprus and its citizens", the President stressed. He further expressed gratitude to the Greek government, Parliament and political parties for supporting Cyprus' EU accession bid and noted that "at this great landmark of Cypriot history we know and recognise that Greece has played a fundamental role". In his toast to President Papadopoulos at the dinner, the Greek President Mr Stephanopoulos welcomed his guest and First Lady Fotini Papadopoulou and pledged that Greece would always remain by Cyprus' side. Noting that the Cyprus problem had become a European issue, Mr Stephanopoulos said that Cyprus' accession to the European Union facilitated the achievement of a settlement and strengthened hope for peace and stability in the region. "With the prospect of Cyprus' EU accession, the UN Secretary-General took action and submitted his plan for the reunification of the island, aimed at the peaceful co-existence of the two communities", he added. Referring to the Annan Plan, the Greek President said "it is neither ideal nor perfect" but the outcome of the harsh reality that had been created.

    Mr Stephanopoulos also pointed out the need for Turkey to "adjust fully to European principles and norms and to contribute effectively to the reunification of Cyprus". Earlier yesterday, Greek and Cyprus delegations headed by Mr Stephanopoulos and Mr Papadopoulos respectively held extensive talks. In remarks to the press after the meeting, the Greek President said he had discussed with President Papadopoulos the preparations made by the Greek Cypriot side in order to be ready to resume the UN-led talks whenever called for by the UN Secretary-General. He also said Mr Papadopoulos' visit to Athens was "extremely important" due to its particular timing. President Papadopoulos, accompanied by the Greek Culture Minister Mr Evangelos Venizelos, visited yesterday the Athens Olympic Stadium and the Olympic Centre, and later met with the President of "Athens 2004" Ms Yianna Angelopoulou-Daskalaki who briefed him on the preparations underway for the Olympic Games. Today, Mr Papadopoulos was expected to hold talks with the Greek Prime Minister, Mr Costas Simitis, and then have separate meetings with political party leaders and representatives. He concludes his visit tomorrow. The President is accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Georgios Iacovou, the Undersecretary to the President, Mr Christodoulos Pashiardes, the Government Spokesman, Mr Kypros Chrysostomides, and the Director of the President's Diplomatic Office, Mr Tasos Tzionis.

    [02] US Congressmen urge Turkey to comply with ECHR decision in Loizidou case

    US Congressmen Michael Bilirakis (Republican - Florida) and Frank Pallone (Democrat - New Jersey) have sent a letter to the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in which they call on Turkey to abide by the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the case of Loizidou v. Turkey. In the letter, dated 25 November 2003, the two Congressmen noted that "complying with the ECHR's decision would be a very positive step Turkey could take to demonstrate its goodwill and sincere desire to show respect for the rule of law, which all nations must honor". Citing the Committee of Minister's interim resolution of 12 November 2003, in which it had declared its resolve "to take all adequate measures against Turkey, if Turkey fails once more to pay the just satisfaction awarded by the Court", the Congressmen warned Ankara that failure to comply with the ECHR's judgment could result in Turkey's membership in the Council of Europe being suspended or revoked. Noting that Washington supported Turkey's EU membership bid, Congressmen Bilirakis and Pallone said the US sought indications that Turkey was committed to the rule of law and principles of human rights. "We look to Ankara for signs of a new willingness to work for a negotiated settlement to end the division of Cyprus, to withdraw the Turkish occupation troops, and to allow all Cypriots - Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots alike - to enjoy in peace the benefits of EU membership", they further said, stressing that "actions to the contrary will only serve to weaken American support for Turkey's EU bid, and prevent U.S.-Turkish relations from reaching their full potential".

    From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/


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