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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-07-09

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos has sent two letters to Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, one on the issue of missing persons and another on a UN-brokered agreement, in July last year, Government Spokesman Vasilis Palmas said.

    He also said that the meetings of the representatives of the leaders of the two communities, Tassos Tzionis and Rashid Pertev, have reached their peak and it was considered advisable to make an effort to push forward the July agreement, which aims at the resumption of substantive negotiations with a view to reunite the island, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    Replying to questions, Palmas said there are two letters, one for a joint meeting on the issue of missing persons in the presence of the tripartite Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) and another letter to try to promote the July agreement, based on what was agreed with Mr. (Ibrahim) Gambari last year.

    Replying to questions, the Spokesman said the aim is to hold the joint meeting on the issue of missing persons within ten days.

    Palmas said the government had tried to keep the two letters out of the limelight, noting that at this stage, we believe that the letters should not have been leaked.

    A year has gone by since the signing of the July 8 agreement. Frequent meetings between Tzionis and Pertev took place over the past year but these have reached their peak. Nothing more could have been achieved through these meetings. The July agreement provided that the leaders of the two communities should try to push forward the agreement. Since a year has gone by without any substantive results, it was considered advisable to try through this meeting to push forward the agreement, Palmas explained.

    The July 8 agreement, he added, is the only agreement on the table that can create preconditions for progress, adding that this was the idea behind the letters, nothing more and nothing less.

    Palmas said the letter was sent some days ago and explains the reasons for suggesting a meeting.

    Responding to criticism that Papadopoulos was not in favour of a meeting with Talat in the past, he wondered when did the government had ever said that there should not be any meetings between the representatives of the two communities.

    What we had said is that such a meeting should have a purpose and substance to it. And in this case, there is a purpose as well as substance for a meeting to take place. We, as the government, are trying to do everything possible to create the preconditions for progress, the Spokesman stressed.

    Asked what had intervened to warrant such a meeting, Palmas replied: a year of stalemate and impasse as far as the July 8 agreement is concerned and because we have the political will to achieve progress, we ought to make this move, in the hope that new conditions will be created to help make headway towards a political settement.

    Palmas also said that so far there has been no reply from the Turkish Cypriot side.

    President Papadopoulos and Talat agreed on 8 July 2006, in Nicosia in the presence of Ibrahim Gambari, to begin a process of bicommunal discussions on issues that affect the day-to-day life of the people and concurrently those that concern substantive issues, both contributing to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.

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