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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 06-10-30

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos has said that there were some thoughts of a meeting between Turkey and Cyprus on the Finnish presidencys initiative to avert a crisis in the Euro-Turkish relations.

    He stressed however that for such a meeting to take place, Turkey must state that it is accepting the return of the fenced off part of Famagusta (Varosha) to its lawful inhabitants.

    To a question on the sidelines of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry annual general assembly, why all ports and airports in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus are not included in the Finnish Presidencys proposal, the President replied that since the Luxembourg presidency (of the EU), it was stated that every discussion on the regulation for direct trade should go together with the return of Famagusta and that there should be a sort of moratorium on the use of land which belongs to Greek Cypriots in the occupied areas.

    The opening of all ports and airports, as you understand, affects the large issue of sovereignty. This would mean territorial waters and Flight Information Region, which surely are not included in the package for direct trade. The regulation for direct trade has a limited range and cannot be exalted to a solution on the fundamental aspects of the Cyprus problem, the Cypriot president stressed.

    Invited to confirm reports in the Turkish media that during the weekend there will be a meeting in Helsinki where Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Cypriot Foreign Minister George Lillikas were invited to attend, the President replied that there were some thoughts of meetings between Turkey, which according to the UN decisions has the responsibility for the area of Famagusta, and the Republic of Cyprus.

    President Papadopoulos said that if Erdogan wants to include Talat in the delegation, that is his problem. Neither with the UN resolutions, nor in practice Mr. Talat has any role concerning the return of Varosha. The discussion on the Direct Trade regulation is another issue, but such issue has not been raised.

    To a question if the meeting will be held, President Papadopoulos replied: I cannot confirm nor deny. I said there were some thoughts. For this to happen, firstly Turkey must state that it is accepting to return the fenced off part of Varosha to its lawful inhabitants, and then we will consider a meeting with Mr. Talat.

    Asked on the possibility of a proposal by the Finnish Presidency to be submitted by 8th November when the Commission is due to publish its progress report on Turkey, the President replied that it depends on the Finnish presidency, if it believes it has formulated a final proposal or ideas for the time being they are merely ideas which are being developed, so they will have chances of being accepted. Neither I, nor you or Finland can say if the chances of them being submitted are getting bigger or smaller.

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