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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 04-06-03

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cypriot President assesses situation with Kofi Annan

  • [01] Cypriot President assesses situation with Kofi Annan


    Cypriot President assesses situation with Kofi Annan

    by Apostolis Zoupaniotis

    United Nations, Jun 3 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan assessed at UN headquarters today the situation with regard to efforts to find a negotiated settlement of the Cyprus problem and both agreed that time was needed for reflection before any new initiative was undertaken.

    Speaking at a press conference, President Papadopoulos said he had a most useful meeting, which took place in a very good atmosphere and reiterated that his goal was to see a viable solution in a bizonal, bicommunal federal Cyprus.

    He also said that he wished to help the Turkish Cypriots reap the benefits of European Union accession and see that they got as many benefits as possible on condition that these were permissible and possible in the context of EU and international law and decisions of the UN Security Council.

    President Papadopoulos dismissed press suggestions that he had deceived people or that the Annan plan, a UN proposal on a comprehensive settlement which was rejected by the Greek Cypriot community, had not been explained to the people.

    He said that, as things stood, it would be wrong to withdraw the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus.

    ''I have deceived nobody, never before had a document received as much analysis through the media, it would be unfair to say the people of Cyprus voted the way they voted because they were in any way misguided by anybody. I had to give my own assessment of the plan and the decision must be respected by all,'' he said.

    He noted he submitted in writing his views during negotiations and said that he and the Secretary General agreed that time was needed for reflection before an initiative was considered.

    ''I think the report has a lot of inaccuracies, and I am going to reply in writing and point them out, the sequence of events and also the assessment of the positions expressed by the two sides during the negotiations,'' he said.

    He expressed deep disappointment that at the UN-led talks his demands were within the parameters of the Annan plan whereas demands by the Turkish Cypriot side fell far short of that.

    ''It seems to me that everything that Turkey has asked has been finally incorporated in the final version of the plan,'' he explained.

    He expressed the view that when the time was ripe ''Turkish Cypriots will realise that having their own little world and getting the benefits they are getting is only second best to the reunification of the country.''

    President Papadopoulos said that the disparity in economic terms between Greek and Turkish Cypriots was due to a great extent to political reasons such as the adoption of the Turkish lira by the Turkish Cypriots.

    Responding to questions, he said a bizonal bicommunal federation which would truly reunify the country ''is the best solution for both'' and dismissed press suggestions that he contradicted previous decisions or agreements with regard to a political settlement.

    ''To say that this particular plan, only this particular plan, is the only way of achieving that aim I think is wrong, the people rejected not the federation solution but this particular plan,'' he stressed.

    Asked about Turkey's role in the Cyprus solution, he said that the decision-making bodies are in Ankara because of the dependence of the Turkish Cypriot community financially on Turkey.

    ''Many of the points the Turkish side demanded at the talks were points that to a great extent served the interests of Turkey not those of the Turkish Cypriots,'' he pointed out.

    He said that the vision of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for two separate sovereign states in Cyprus would not be accepted by the Greek Cypriots and expressed hope that ''the new outlook shown by the Turkish and the Turkish Cypriot side is not an illusion, a play on words.''

    On Turkey's EU aspirations, President Papadopoulos said that the solution should serve the interests of the Greek and Turkish Cypriots and not either the interests or political aspirations of any other country, be that Turkey or Greece or another country.

    Responding to questions about the presence of UNFICYP (UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus), he said he shared the view that the force and the mandate of UNFICYP should be reviewed.

    Noting that UNFICYP was doing a ''marvelous job'', he explained that since there were no changes in security issues UNFICYP needed to continue its role.

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