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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-08-01

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    A set of proposals, which Cyprus President Demetris Christofias has tabled at the ongoing peace talks, have placed the Greek Cypriot side at the forefront, according to the President.

    In statements to the press, after a memorial service for the Republics first President, the late Archbishop Makarios III, President Christofias called for unity, saying that this is the only way to tackle Turkey`s offensive communication tactics.

    Referring to his proposals, he said they have placed the Greek Cypriot side ahead of things, adding that he will continue the dialogue with the Turkish Cypriot community.

    We have no other option but to continue. I am convinced we can make it, he said referring to the current peace effort to find a negotiated settlement.

    The first proposal suggests linking discussions on property to territory and immigration, citizenship, aliens and asylum. Property and territory are considered to be two of the most hotly contested issues at the talks President Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu are engaged in.

    The second proposal calls for the implementation of Security Council resolution 550 which provides for the return of the fenced off area of Varosha, now under Turkish occupation, to the UN. The objective of the proposal is to restore the town and return it to its legitimate inhabitants. The proposal envisages also the opening of the citys port for trade for Turkish Cypriots, under EU supervision, as well as the restoration of the walled city of Famagusta (old part of the city).

    The third proposal relates to convening an international conference on Cyprus, once the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot side are within reach of an agreement on the internal aspects of the Cyprus problem. This conference must be called by the UN, and apart from the Republic of Cyprus and the islands two communities, the EU, the five permanent members of the Security Council and Cyprus three guarantor powers will attend (Greece, Turkey and Britain are the guarantor powers according to the 1960 Constitution).

    Turkey, once it decides on a specific strategy, follows and promotes that strategy faithfully and in a uniform manner. I believe we should act in concert too, in particular these days when Turkey is launching an offensive communications strategy, the President said, noting that various issues will be discussed on Tuesday, at the National Council meeting (the top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus question, comprising the six parliamentary parties).

    He acknowledged that the main responsibility for unity on the home front lies on the shoulders of the President but pointed out that political parties must also contribute towards this objective.

    We need unity to deal with the repercussions of Turkeys invasion, he said.


    If the Turkish side accepts the Greek Cypriot proposals, recently tabled at the negotiating table, the peace process could make headway, President Demetris Christofias has said, reiterating at the same time his determination to work for a political settlement that will reunite the country, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    We are faced with many obstacles and difficulties on the way to a solution but we address them with hope and optimism. We are committed to a solution based on the fundamental principles for a functional and viable settlement, he said.

    To this effect, he added, we have tabled proposals which, if accepted by the Turkish side, they will give a new impetus to the negotiating process, the President said.


    House President Marios Garoyian has stressed the need to redraft and readjust the policies applied by the Greek Cypriot side to deal in a more effective and preemptive manner Turkish tactics, calling at the same time for collective unity in the goals, the strategy, tactics and action that have to be taken. Speaking at a memorial service for the late President of Cyprus Archbishop Makarios III, Garoyian said the Greek Cypriot side is ready for a bicommunal bizonal federation with the right content, which will secure the rights and the interests of the people of Cyprus only.

    Turkey puts forward at the negotiating table proposals which aim at a confederal solution and its officials do not fail to speak out in favour of a two state solution in Cyprus, he noted. The House President attributed the absence of any real progress in the ongoing negotiations exclusively to Turkish intransigence and the unwillingness of the UN and other players in the international community to deal with decisiveness and severity Turkeys attitude. What the Greek Cypriot side tables at the talks, he said, is based on a federal solution, which will be viable and functional.

    Garoyian was critical of the role of powerful players in the international community, including the UN, saying that they keep a distance from Turkeys tactics and policies, which absolves Ankara of any blame with regard to the question of Cyprus. They seem to adopt a neutral attitude which is often imbalanced, He added. We are ready for an honorable compromise, which will not tip the balance in favour of one side. However, once more we warn everybody that we shall not accept any express solution process or any give and take negotiations, he stressed. The Greek Cypriot side, he said, will not accept any tight deadlines or strict timeframes aiming at apparent convergences based on constructive ambiguities.

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