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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-06-11

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] GREEK FM - INTERVIEW WITH CNA
  • [02] SPOKESMAN LIMNITIS

  • [01] GREEK FM - INTERVIEW WITH CNA

    Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Dora Bakoyiannis has assured that Greece will continue to support efforts underway to end the Turkish occupation of Cyprus` northern third and to achieve an agreed solution that would reunite the island.

    In an interview with CNA, Bakoyiannis said the new mobility in the Cyprus problem is a result of initiatives taken by Cypriot President Demetris Christofias, noting that both communities on the island must be left to their own devices in their search for common ground that could support the resumption of comprehensive negotiations with a prospect for success.

    She said there were still significant obstacles but noted that President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat have reaffirmed their commitment to the aim of an agreed settlement providing for a bizonal bicommunal federation.

    ``A new window of opportunity has opened. It is each and everyone`s responsibility to keep it open,`` Bakoyiannis pointed out.

    The Greek Minister said the Turkish leadership should encourage Talat to show good will and a constructive spirit, and expressed hope that developments in Turkey would not hinder its prospect to adapt to European principles and obstruct progress in the Cyprus problem.

    ``Substantive progress in the Cyprus problem would be beneficial for Ankara itself,`` Bakoyiannis pointed out.

    Asked what Greece was doing to exert pressure on the Turkish side for progress, Bakoyiannis said it was ``not a matter of pressure`` but for the two communities to find common ground.

    ``The Cyprus problem was and remains primarily an international case of invasion and occupation. The key to the solution is in Ankara. The Turkish government says that it supports the talks. I consider that the Turkish leadership can and must encourage, in practice, Mr. Talat to show good will and a true constructive spirit, especially in issues of substance,`` she added.

    Commenting on remarks by Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Babacan that the EU should play a more active role in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, Bakoyiannis said the EU would be playing its role in securing the effective participation of a reunited Cyprus in Europe, clarifying that permanent exceptions (from the acquis communautaire) could not be accepted for an EU member state.

    Bakoyiannis also said that Turkey has pending obligations towards the EU and the Republic of Cyprus, especially to ratify and implement the additional protocol and normalise its relations with the Republic of Cyprus.

    ``It is clear that there cannot be a solution of the Cyprus problem outside the framework of European principles and values, outside the acquis communautaire. The EU will play its own role in securing the effective participation of a reunited Cyprus in Europe. There cannot be permanent exceptions for an EU member state. From this point of view, a change in Turkey`s stance towards the EU would be welcome. However, I should remind that Turkey still has pending obligations towards the EU and the Republic of Cyprus. I am referring especially to the obligation to ratify and implement the additional protocol, as well as to normalise its relations with the Republic of Cyprus,`` she said.

    Regarding the role the French presidency of the EU could play, Bakoyiannis said the EU has clearly called on Ankara to implement the additional protocol, adding that every EU presidency constitutes the common voice of all member states.

    ``The Union has clearly called on Ankara to implement the additional protocol. The consequences of Turkey`s non response on its accession course are well known. Anyway, next year the Union will reexamine the progress made. Turkey alone is responsible for the speed of progress. Regarding the European positions and criteria, they are determined by the 27 unanimously. Each presidency is the common voice of all the member states,`` she added.

    Commenting on the memorandum of understanding signed recently between the Republic of Cyprus and the United Kingdom, Bakoyiannis said it was ``a step in the right direction in that it clarifies the fundamental principles of the two sides on solving the political problem.``

    ``The relationship between the Republic of Cyprus and the United Kingdom is one which goes back in history. Last year, not without justification, concerns were raised by the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the United Kingdom and Turkey, part of which had to do with the Cyprus problem. We believe that the signing of the current memorandum is a step in the right direction in that it clarifies the fundamental principles of the two sides for the solution of the political problem. At the same time, it comes at the right time to constructively strengthen their bilateral cooperation,`` Bakoyiannis pointed out.

    [02] SPOKESMAN LIMNITIS

    The opening of the Limnitis crossing point, on the north-west of the island is a top priority for the Greek Cypriot side, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has said noting that there is a relevant provision within the 21st March Agreement.

    Responding to questions after the Cabinets meeting, the Spokesman also said that the opening of the specific checkpoint does not entirely depend on the Greek Cypriot side and it can therefore take place through a mutual agreement between the two sides.

    He added that for the Government, as regards the confidence building measures the opening of Limnitis is a top priority.


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