|Thursday, 22 March 2018|
Cyprus News Agency: News in Greek, 09-09-25
From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cna.org.cy>
 PRESIDENT NEW YORK CYPRUS ISSUEPresident of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias has reiterated that he will not accept strict timetables and arbitration.
In a press conference at the UN headquarters, President Christofias proffered again his hand to Ankara for a direct dialogue, requesting on Turkeys part to give Varosha to the United Nations Administration as a gesture of good will.
Commenting on Turkish Prime Ministers Recep Tayyip Erdogan statement at the UN General Assembly, he expressed disappointment, noting that this is the position of the National Security Council of Turkey and expressed hope that Erdogan and Turkish President Abdullah Gul will make second thoughts on the issue.
President Christofias said that he had requested an opportunity to enter a dialogue with them, saying that I understand that they have their own positions on the Republic of Cyprus, but they must proceed beyond that.
He noted that the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus is a progressive step forward, by a country which is approaching the united Europe with the aim to become a full member.
He stressed that Cyprus supports Turkey`s accession to the EU, but clarified that this support does not constitute a carte blanche. He added that Turkey must respect Cyprus as an independent state and restore relations with the Republic of Cyprus.
Asked how many more meetings are needed to solve the Cyprus problem, President Christofias replied: maybe 40 more, maybe 80, as many as needed to solve the problem.
He went on to say that ``but we do not intend to resign. This is my position and I am sure Mehmet Ali Talats position as well. We want a speedy solution as soon as possible and I mean it.
Referring to the strict timetables and arbitration, President Chrtistifias underlined that there are bitter experiences of the past.
Moreover, he expressed regret that during a conversation he had with the Turkish Prime Minister, the latest had told him that the issue of the settlers had been resolved by becoming citizens of the pseudo-state in northern Cyprus.
He noted that with such positions, even if we meet a thousand times, we will never reach a solution.
He also said that as soon as he had assumed the presidency he made some generous offers to the Turkish Cypriots.
He clarified that we would not make any other concessions without response from the Turkish Cypriot side.
Referring to the issue of arbitration, he said that it was a major mistake to accept arbitration in 2004, noting that the imposition of a solution is not accepted.
President Christofias said that the outcome of the arbitration would be a solution which would be imposed from outside and this is not effective.
He reiterated that the solution must be by the Cypriots, for the Cypriots, otherwise, he pointed out, the solution will be neither viable nor functional.
In addition, he called on the Turkish Cypriot leader to understand that there could not be any arbitration.
President Christofias said that to take extreme positions beyond the Annan plan, which was rejected by the 76% of the Greek Cypriots, hoping that some people from outside will come to limit the differences is not productive, adding that we need to become productive to find a solution together, rather than waiting for it from the outside.
He described Turkey as the key for the solution of the problem, noting that both he and Talat must call Turkey to help by ending its occupation and withdrawing its troops out of Cyprus.
Turkey is the key to the solution, he concluded.
Christofias and Talat have been engaged in direct negotiations, under UN auspices, since September 2008. Bans special adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer attends the talks, which aim at finding a mutually acceptable political settlement that will reunite the country under a federal roof, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.