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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 03-12-04
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 Akinci calls on Ankara to solve Cyprus issue
Akinci calls on Ankara to solve Cyprus issue
by Maria Myles
Nicosia, Dec 4 (CNA) -- Mustafa Akinci, leader of the Turkish Cypriot opposition ''Movement for Peace and Democracy'', has called on Ankara to help solve the Cyprus problem before May 2004 and to implement the Copenhagen criteria, if it wants to secure the start of its accession talks with the EU.
He warned Turkey that the EU will not horse-trade in December 2004, when the European Council will review its stance on Turkey, and said Turkish Cypriots need the cooperation of Ankara and Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos to achieve a settlement before Cyprus joins the Union, in May next year.
In an interview with CNA, he said Turkish Cypriots now have a real responsibility to move things forward, and urged them to vote in next week's ''parliamentary elections'' in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus in favour of those forces that support solution and accession.
He appeared convinced that the problem can be resolved within four months, if the political will is there and all parties feel they are in a win-win situation.
Commenting on opinion polls about the December 14 vote, he said there has been manipulation of the polls and that the real opinion poll will be the ballot box.
''Our Movement is gaining ground, our wish is to see that all the pro-solution and pro-European forces prevail and form the majority in the House which will give them the opportunity to form a pro-solution government, that is our first priority,'' he explained.
Akinci refrained from any comment on the likely percentage the pro-solution forces would garner and said ''if the Turkish Cypriots are left alone, it will be only up to their consciousness to decide'', adding that they have shown their determination for a solution and accession.
He charged that the illegal regime in occupied Cyprus has been tampering with the ''electoral list'' and said in one single day 1.563 persons were granted ''citizenship'' so that they can vote.
''The elections cannot be described as frank, democratic and transparent,'' he continued.
Asked how things would develop if the pro-solution forces win on December 14, he said ''if we prevail, we will form a government ourselves. There will be no coalition with no-solution parties, and our negotiating team will ask the Secretary General to give a kick to the negotiations.''
''We will need the cooperation of Mr Papadopoulos and the Turkish government, our aim is to solve the problem on the basis of the Annan plan,'' he pointed out.
Akinci said the plan does not spell ''catastrophy for either side or victory for any side'' and added ''it is a balanced plan and you can have certain amendments with mutual acceptance but the main principles should stay.''
He warned that requests by one side for radical changes on the main parameters of the plan would signify that that side will have to give something in return.
''The point we have reached, it seems the real responsibility is with the Turkish Cypriots, to give a chance to the pro-solution forces, if we win the elections we need to see Mr Papadopoulos sticking to the main parameters of the plan and we also need to see the cooperation of Turkey,'' he stressed.
Akinci said Ankara needs to implement Copenhagen criteria in order to put its house in order and noted that if Turkey helps solve the Cyprus problem before May 2004, then EU has a real role to play.
''The EU should make and can make clear to Turkey that if it does these two things, then Turkey will get the date they are looking for in December 2004 (date for the start of accession negotiations),'' he said.
He believes that Turkey should not keep Cyprus a hostage and then try to ''horse-trade'' in December with the EU. Instead, if Ankara gets a clear message and complies with EU criteria, this would be ''the most useful and helpful situation we can create.''
Asked if he thought Turkey was acting in this direction, he replied ''we will see after the elections, if we prevail. I am not in a position to say that I am sure this is what they are going to do.''
Akinci replied he would ''say the same thing'' about President Papadopoulos' stance and claimed that the Cyprus President ''hid behind'' the intransigence of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash during negotiations last March in The Hague.
''If we win, we will see what the real intentions of Mr Papadopoulos are. The same applies for the Turkish government, whether it will cooperate with the new government to solve the problem before May or whether they will try to gain more time until December to horse-trade,'' he said.
''If they keep Cyprus a hostage until December, the EU is making it very clear that they are not prepared to make that kind of horse-trading,'' he remarked.
Invited to comment on Papadopoulos' repeated declaration that he is ready even tomorrow for negotiations and that he would ask in writing the Secretary General to reengage in the peace process, Akinci referred to Kofi Annan's position that he would reengage on condition that not only the two leaderships but also Greece and Turkey should commit themselves to negotiate and finalise the plan and put it to separate referenda.
''The Secretary General's message is that he wants commitment from the sides that they shall not engage to renegotiate the main principles of the plan. We are prepared to respond positively to this demand. If Mr Papadopoulos' letter implies the same thing, it will be a positive move,'' he pointed out.
Replying to questions, he said the pro-solution forces intend to appoint a new negotiating team, an issue that would be discussed ''when and if we win the elections.''
Asked what amendments to the Annan plan he would seek, if he were to be the new negotiator for the Turkish Cypriot side, he said he was not in a position to go into details and reiterated his commitment to the main principles of the plan.
He clarified that there is no information about a new plan which would lead nowhere and warned about a plethora of plans if each side puts forward its own solution plan.
Asked if he is ready to sign the Annan plan as it is, he said two things must be distinguished in this respect.
''We have to speak about two things: We are ready to accept the main parameters. There are certain issues that can be discussed and agreed upon. If you are asking whether I would sign the main parameters, yes, and I think that is what matters. Then, I want to see the same mentality coming from Mr Papadopoulos,'' he added.
Addressing himself to Greek Cypriots, he said the Turkish Cypriots are sending the clear message that they truly want a solution and there is still a chance and precious time to find out.
''You cannot solve anything if you do not have the desire and the political determination even in 80 years, but if you have and the parameters are there and you can create the conditions where all the interested parties can live with it, then you can solve it within four months,'' he added.
 Lamassoure: ''We need to unite Cyprus in the Union''
Lamassoure: ''We need to unite Cyprus in the Union''
by Maria Antouna
Brussels, Dec 4 (CNA) -- Euro MP Alain Lamassoure, member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, said the European Parliament will be very strict vis a vis Turkey regarding the need for a united Cyprus Cyprus in the European Union.
 Brok: No Cyprus solution, no negotiations for Turkey
Brok: No Cyprus solution, no negotiations for Turkey
by Maria Antouna
Brussels, Dec 4 (CNA) -- Elmar Brok, Chairman of Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament, has said that a Cyprus solution with Ankara's contribution is the condition of any negotiation with Turkey for EU membership.
 Cypriot elected to UN Committee against Torture
Cypriot elected to UN Committee against Torture
Nicosia, Dec 4 (CNA) -- Cypriot Ambassador Andreas Mavrommatis was among the top five candidates elected on 26 November 2003 in Geneva to the Uniten Nations human rights expert body, the Committee against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. This is Mavrommatis' third consecutive term serving the Committee.
 Dutch Lower House warns Turkey on EU accession
Dutch Lower House warns Turkey on EU accession
Nicosia, Dec 4 (CNA) -- The Dutch Lower House has warned Turkey that unless it complies with the Copenhagen criteria, it will be impossible to secure a date for the start of accession negotiations with the European Union.
A resolution, adopted by the Lower House by an overwhelming majority, reaffirms that no membership talks can begin with Turkey prior to its full compliance with the Copenhagen criteria and notes that before this is done (compliance) no date can be decided on.
 Cyprus hands second GSM license to SCANCOM
Cyprus hands second GSM license to SCANCOM
Nicosia, Dec 4 (CNA) -- Today marked the final act of liberalising telecommunications in Cyprus as the government officially handed to Lebanese-backed Company the second GSM license.
 Weather and Temperatures for Cyprus
 Papadopoulos in Nigeria for Commonwealth summit
Papadopoulos in Nigeria for Commonwealth summit
Nicosia, Dec 4 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos is in Abuja, Nigeria, to participate in the Commonwealth Heads of State and Government Meeting (CHOGM), beginning Friday.
The summit, which ends Monday, will be attended by 52 out of 54 heads of state and will discuss, among others, the question of Cyprus and it is expected to include a special reference to the problem in its final communique.
 Cyprus Stock Exchange
 Cyprus government welcomes Dutch Lower House resolution
Cyprus government welcomes Dutch Lower House resolution
Nicosia, Dec 4 (CNA) The Cyprus government expressed its full satisfaction over the adoption of a resolution by the Dutch Lower House, which warned Turkey that unless it complies with the Copenhagen criteria, it would be impossible to secure a date for the start of accession negotiations with the European Union.
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