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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 04-01-20

Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

  • [01]Tuesday, 20 January 2004 President Papadopoulos: We want a viable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem
  • [02] Greece and Cyprus ready to resume negotiations based on the Annan Plan

    [01] President Papadopoulos: We want a viable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem

    The President of the Republic Mr Tassos Papadopoulos stressed yesterday that the Greek Cypriot side wants, not simply any solution, but a functional and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, as soon as possible. In statements to the press upon his arrival from Athens, where he had talks with the Prime Minister of Greece Mr Costas Simitis, on the setting of a common strategy on the Cyprus problem, President Papadopoulos described his contacts in Athens as "useful" and "constructive". He said that with Mr Simitis and his associates, they reviewed the statements that were recently made by Turkish politicians and examined the various scenarios that could possibly unfold. President Papadopoulos said that he also had a meeting with the President of the Hellenic Republic Mr Constantinos Stephanopoulos, whom he briefed on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem and with parliamentary party leaders.

    The Greek Cypriot side reaffirmed its long standing position, namely that it is ready to engage in negotiations, whenever it is called upon by the UN Secretary-General, with the aim of finding a solution to the Cyprus problem before 1 May 2004, he said. Replying to press questions on the statements made by the Turkish Foreign Minister Mr Abdullah Gul, that negotiations should take place before the Annan Plan was put to a referendum, President Papadopoulos said that for some time now, the Turkish side is trying to give the impression that it is doing something for the Cyprus problem and all these statements are part of this framework. Asked if some would blame the Greek Cypriot side if the talks failed, the President said that he believed that that could be the tactic, but underlined that the Greek Cypriot side would try to demonstrate once again its good will, its readiness to participate in a constructive process of negotiations, in order to find a more functional solution which would therefore be viable. Asked to comment on the evaluation that the Cyprus problem was not a priority in the discussions between the Turkish Prime Minister Mr Erdogan and the US President Mr Bush, President Papadopoulos said that the Cyprus problem was one of the seven issues that Mr Erdogan would discuss in Washington.

    [02] Greece and Cyprus ready to resume negotiations based on the Annan Plan

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos reiterated yesterday the readiness of both Cyprus and Greece to resume negotiations based on the Annan Peace Plan. In statements to the press after talks with President Papadopoulos, which focused on the prospects of resuming negotiations in the light of the recent developments in the occupied areas and the reports and statements made in Turkey as well as on issues concerning Cyprus/ EU accession, Mr Simitis stressed that Greece and the Republic of Cyprus have reconfirmed once again that they consider the UN procedure as determining and that their common aim is to find a just, viable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem as soon as possible, one which respects the UN decisions, human rights and the basic principles of the Acquis Communautaire. The Greek Prime Minister underlined that the key to the solution of the Cyprus problem lies in the hands of Ankara which controls the political situation in the occupied areas and determines the Turkish Cypriot's side's moves. Turkey continues to support the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and to insist on maintaining the same policy, of legalizing the fait accompli of the occupation, a policy which is rejected by the international community, he said. Mr Simitis expressed the hope that the Turkish side would change its intransigent stance and accept without preconditions the resumption of negotiations, so that a reunited Cyprus would accede to the European Union. The solution of the Cyprus problem would be to Turkey's benefit, he said, adding that it is inconceivable to have Turkey's accession course without a prior solution to the Cyprus problem. The Greek Premier further said that the recent declarations by Turkey that it supports the UN Secretary- General's initiatives are positive but the Turkish side should prove practically with substantial moves its willingness to cooperate for a solution of the Cyprus problem. Greece and Cyprus have the same views on the unimpeded completion of the Cyprus' accession course to the European Union and the decisive promotion of the peace process and are both working in coordination and are jointly seeking a solution to the political problem as soon as possible. Replying to a question whether there should be a commitment to hold a referendum without reaching an agreement first, the Greek Premier replied: "If we do not agree with the result of the negotiations, then this presumed result will not become acceptable by the Greek Cypriot side in any referendum". "We have repeatedly said that we need an agreement to proceed to a referendum"' he added. Asked what steps Turkey should take in order to show its willingness for a solution, Mr Simitis said that the Turkish side should state on which points it agrees or disagrees, in the Annan Plan and that there should be a provision on the issues which must change due to Cyprus' accession to the EU, and which should change to make the Annan Plan more functional, issues which the Republic of Cyprus has also submitted. It is not possible, for example, to accept the Annan Plan before there is a clear view on the constitution of the two constituent states in a united Republic of Cyprus, he said. The Turks must state what the constitution should contain and this should be compatible with the overall regulation of the Annan Plan. Turkey, so far has not entered any substantial negotiation and this cannot continue, Mr Simitis added.

    From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/


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