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

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias has said here Tuesday that the result of the submission of proposals by the two Cypriot sides on the issue of properties cannot be prejudged.

    In statements after the meeting he had on Tuesday with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, in the framework of direct negotiations on the Cyprus problem, Christofias said he always has a low profile discussion with Eroglu but with different views on the property issues and sometimes in general``.

    He also announced that he invited Eroglu and his spouse for dinner at his house in Kellaki village on August 31, when their first meeting in the framework of direct negotiations will take place after the summer holidays.

    Christofias said that there will be an effort during their first meeting after the holidays to see if the minimum convergences on the property issue exist. From there on, overall proposals will be submitted by the two sides, he added.

    Invited to comment Eroglus statements that if the Cyprus problem is not solved then each one will follow their own way, Christofias said that such things are said and commented during his meetings with Eroglu.

    All these things are part of the political game. You realize that such threats do not defeat us. Turkey does the same thing, as regards a B plan, etc, he added.

    As he noted, the important thing is to have a common sense that will be based on the international and European rules and law and will take into consideration the situation after the Turkish invasion of 1974 and the occupation of part of the island, to achieve a settlement providing for a bizonal, bicommunal federation which is the major concession of the Greek Cypriot side.

    Replying to a question, Christofias said that talks have already been intensified, adding that the important issue is the content of the proposals submitted by the two sides.

    He said that the proposal of the Greek Cypriot side to link the property issue with the territorial adjustments is a constructive one, which however is not being accepted by the other side.

    I will insist on this connection. Because if we are able to have such an arrangement, that will allow over 100,000 Greek Cypriot refugees to return to the ancestral homes, under Greek Cypriot administration, on the basis of the 1974 status, then the property issues will become less complex and easier to solve, he added. If the Turkish Cypriot side insists on its positions and retracts from the relevant Annan plan provisions, then things will be very difficult, he added.

    So we cannot contemplate what will happen with the submission of the proposals from the two sides, Christofias noted.

    Asked if he has received a reply from his 26 EU counterparts to his letter on the issue of Famagusta, Christofias said that he received many replies, many of which are positive and welcome his proposal.

    The three-tier proposals the President has submitted at the negotiating table during the UN-led talks are as follows: the first 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).

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