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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 06-07-11

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos has described his meetings in Athens with the Greek political leadership as very useful and fruitful, adding that they discussed and evaluated his latest meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and the agreement reached between him and Talat.

    He noted that in the framework of their regular coordination, Cyprus and Greece have determined their future strategy on Cyprus.

    Invited to say if he is going to meet with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza, who will be visiting Cyprus July 16-19, Papadopoulos said he would not meet with Bryza.

    Replying to a question about his talks in Greece, Papadopoulos said we have made our evaluations on the possible developments and we have decided as always on the coordination of our actions.

    Invited to comment a statement by Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul that there is no issue of withdrawing Turkish troops from Cyprus and returning the occupied town of Famagusta, Papadopoulos said that the withdrawal of troops is one of the basic aspects of the Cyprus question.

    I think that any settlement of the Cyprus problem should provide for the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Cyprus. Particularly given the fact that Turkey has a particular policy of joining the EU, it would have been absolutely inconceivable for a candidate country and later a member state to maintain troops to another member state, without the will of its government and its people, he added.

    Furthermore he noted that the issue of Famagusta has been linked since the EU Luxembourg Presidency and later during the Austrian Presidency with the discussions on the EU direct trade regulation.

    I dont think that Guls statement contributes to the climate in which we are all trying to function, so that with the good will of both sides this process will open the way for a Cyprus settlement, he said.

    Invited to say if its possible for Cyprus to give its consent so that the evaluation of Turkeys EU course in October is postponed, asking at the same time for some exchanges, Papadopoulos said that no one has asked for such a postponement, adding that therefore the progress report on Turkeys EU bid will be issued.

    It is not yet known if the report will just refer to the facts, as the non compliance of Turkey, for the time being, to its obligations or whether it will make any suggestions, he added, noting that this was one of the issues discussed in Athens.

    Replying to a question regarding the technical committees he expressed hope that the discussion of issues of substance will be possible, along with the discussion of day-to-day issues.

    President Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat agreed Saturday during a meeting with UN Undersecretary General for political affairs Ibrahim Gambari that the technical committees on the Cyprus problem should begin their work by the end of July and that the leaders themselves would meet from time to time to review the process.

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