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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-08-03

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic Demetris Christofias has briefed the members of the National Council on the course of the ongoing negotiations to solve the Cyprus issue and the three proposals he has announced to help make headway at the talks.

    Speaking after Tuesdays meeting of the National Council, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said that a discussion to achieve unity on the home front is also underway.

    Stephanou said all political parties except AKEL made their views known on the issue and discussion will continue on 12th August.

    Today, the President of the Republic briefed the National Council on the course of the negotiations and a discussion began concerning the effort to achieve unity on the home front, he added,

    Asked if the political parties submitted specific proposals on the three proposals the President has already announced, Stephanou said the proposals are there. They have to do with the negotiations, all three proposals are inter-related, the issue of Famagusta and that of an international conference.

    Last month the Cypriot President announced three proposals on the Cyprus issue. The first suggests the linking of the discussion of three of the chapters of the Cyprus problem - those dealing with property, territory and immigration - to facilitate the resolution of the thorny chapter of properties and expedite the dialogue.

    The second proposal urges Turkey to implement UN Security Council resolution 550, which calls for the transfer of the fenced off area of Varosha (on the east), in Famagusta, now under Turkish occupation, to the administration of the United Nations. Part of this proposal is the opening of the port of Famagusta under EU auspices to benefit the Turkish Cypriots.

    The third proposal is to convene an international conference when within range of an agreement on the internal aspects of the Cyprus problem.

    Stephanou said that these proposals are not anything new. They are based on positions that have been formulated over the years by the Greek Cypriot side and the Republic of Cyprus, as the President of the Republic has said, the Spokesman added.

    He further said that the positions will be conveyed to the parties, although they were informed about their content.

    Asked if there have been any steps on the issue of unity, the Spokesman said that we are discussing. The Presidents aim is to achieve the minimum unity which is a necessary precondition to continue with good preconditions the fight and pave the way towards a solution of the Cyprus issue.

    The National Council is the top advisory body to the President of the Republic, comprising parliamentary parties. Peace talks began in Cyprus in September 2008 between President Christofias and former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, who was replaced by Dervis Eroglu in April this year.

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