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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-04-22

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus FM on upcoming talks
  • [02] Patriarch receives Plassnik

  • [01] Cyprus FM on upcoming talks

    Direct negotiations between Republic of Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, preceded by working teams and expert committees from both sides, will be initiated with differences regarding the thorny issues still pending, Cypriot Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou said Tuesday. In an interview with ANA-MPA, FM Kyprianou underlined that the position, according to which "the new Cypriot state that will result from a solution should be a continuation of the Republic of Cyprus" constitutes a "red line" for the Greek Cypriot side, one that cannot be crossed. The idea of "parthenogenesis" is categorically rejected, Kyprianou underlined, warning that an effort to reintroduce the Annan Plan will be a setback for negotiations. According to the Cypriot FM, the difficult issues in the negotiation are territorial, security guarantees, property, certain points in the constitution, settlers and a return of refugees to their homes. Kyprianou declined to comment on whether the Cyprus government will accept a solution guaranteed by Turkey and whether the return of Greek Cypriots to the closed-off area of Famagusta will be a priority issue in negotiations. However, he stated that it is "unacceptable for an EU member-state to need guarantees from third countries", adding that the position according to which "the issue of Famagusta can be resolved before a comprehensive solution is reached in the Cyprus issue" still stands. The Cypriot FM also explained that in the March 21 agreement between Christofias and Talat no reference was made to a solution on the basis of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation because the agreement text was aimed at opening the negotiation process, pointing out that the content of negotiations will be shaped in the process, whereas, "our position on the form of the solution is very clear". Kyprianou stressed that the March 21 agreement is a follow-up to the July 8 agreement, adding that the Cypriot position is that the basis of a solution has to be a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation guaranteeing political equality as defined by the UN resolutions.

    Caption: Cypriot Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou is shown in a file photo when he served as European health commissioner in Brussels, 30 May 2007. ANA-MPA/ EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

    [02] Patriarch receives Plassnik

    Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik expessed her gratitude to Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos for his efforts towards protecting the environment, during a meeting in Istanbul on Tuesday.

    Speaking to the press after holding talks with Vartholomeos in the Fanar district, Plassnik praised the Orthodox prelate for his "indefatigable contribution towards inter-religious dialogue, mutual understanding between human beings, the creation of a world where peoples will live without fear, where they can live with their own religion, their own faith or even live without faith at all if they want to."

    "This is the meaning of religious freedom," Plassnik noted, adding that this meaning of freedom is one of the foundations of the European system of values. And this is an issue we are negotiating on with states that wish to become European Union members.

    During the one-hour meeting, the Austrian foreign minister discussed with the Patriarch issues relating to the Patriarchate and the ethnic Greek community.

    Caption: Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik seen during a press conference after her meeting with her Turkish counterpart Ali Babacan in Ankara, Turkey on 21 April 2008. ANA-MPA/EPA/ATES TUMER


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