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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-04-04

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cypriot Government Spokesman Christodoulos Pashiardis said that the UN had sent to the government a letter by Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat addressed to the UN Secretary General, containing the Turkish side`s positions on the current phase of the Cyprus problem and especially with regard to the July 8 agreement.

    Speaking after a Council of Ministers meeting, Pashiardis said ``our side will take a stance after it has concluded the examination of the letter.``

    Asked if the Greek Cypriot side was optimistic that things could move forward regarding the July 8 process, Pashiardis said ``we do not currently want, and while the examination of the evaluation document of the Turkish side is being carried out, to make any comment.``

    ``I will restrict myself to saying that, judging by the facts at the moment, the Turkish side is not very thrilled about the July 8 agreement,`` he said.

    Replying to questions, he said that Talat`s letter was being examined ``and thus we will not make any comment at this moment regarding the content of the Turkish document.``

    Commenting on remarks by Hasan Ercakica, Talat`s spokesman, that the Greek Cypriot side was trying to implement packages that should have been on the agenda of the technical committees and working groups, Pashiardis said that ``unfortunately for Mr. Ercakica, neither the UN nor the international community, I believe, agree with his position and view.``

    He added that ``we sincerely do not understand how and why Mr. Ercakica is scenting enmity in the package of new measures we are proposing for the Turkish Cypriots and giving this gesture of ours any political dimension.``

    ``If our effort to financially strengthen the Turkish Cypriots and for the economic unification of our country is perceived by Mr. Ercakica as a hostile action, I am sure that the vast majority of the Turkish Cypriots, who are already enjoying the previous social and economic measures we gave, will totally disagree with him,`` Pashiardis pointed out.

    The Spokesman added that ``this of course may not interest Mr. Ercakica, since the main aim of the Turkish side is not the economic upgrading of the Turkish Cypriots but the political upgrading of the pseudostate.``

    Replying to questions, he said the government did not have any information about Wednesday`s meeting between the UN Secretary General`s Special Representative in Cyprus Michael Moller with the ambassadors of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council in Nicosia.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.


    Michael Moller, the UN Secretary Generals special representative in Cyprus, met the ambassadors of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, with regard to efforts to rekindle the effort to implement an agreement that would prepare the ground for substantive negotiations towards a political settlement.

    The consultations took place in the wake of a Security Council statement on developments in Cyprus, a public announcement issued by the five ambassadors after last weeks meeting in Nicosia with leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Ali Talat and a reassessment document by the Turkish Cypriot side of the July agreement between Talat and Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos.

    Diplomatic sources have told CNA that the five ambassadors agreed that they would give the process their full support and expressed their backing to efforts by the UN and their envoy on the island to press on with the implementation of the July agreement.


    Turkey should recognise the Republic of Cyprus, a European Union member state, French Minister-delegate for European Affairs Catherine Colonna has said, stressing that a state cannot apply for accession to a bloc without recognizing all its member-states.

    ``(Turkey) assumed commitments towards the EU. We are 27 member states, one of which is the Republic of Cyprus, which it (Turkey) must recognise and must have normal relations with, because one cannot be a candidate for accession to a group which includes 27 states without recognizing this group,`` Colona says in an interview with Radio France Internationale (RFI), extracts of which were published on April 2 in the French Foreign Ministry`s website.

    Asked if she agrees with the views of French President Jacques Chirac or Nicolas Sarkozy candidate for the French presidency on Turkey`s EU bid, Colona pointed out there are both arguments in favour of Turkey`s accession as well as reservations, recalling that Turkey had difficulties showing that it respects the accession criteria, something was underlined last year.


    Greece has stressed the need for a new attempt towards a negotiated settlement in Cyprus, under the UN auspices, saying that the July agreement between President Tassos Papadopoulos and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Ali Talat as well as Papadopoulos agreement with the former UN Secretary General provides the framework for such an effort.

    In an interview with CNA, the spokesman of the Greek Foreign Ministry Giorgos Koumoutsakos also said that the absence of progress towards this goal is due to Turkeys tactical maneouvres, delaying tactics and its capacity to renege at the last minute from earlier commitments.

    The Turkish Cypriot side, he believes, has not at the end of the day got the green light from Ankara to begin substantive consultations, while at the same time he emphasizes the need to see the technical committees and the working groups, provided by the July 2006 agreement, to begin work without any further delay.

    He expressed hope that a recent meeting between Talat and the ambassadors in Nicosia of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council would perhaps encourage him to free himself from the logic of negation which he recently displays and move along the right path.

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