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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-12-05

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias has said that the first months of direct negotiations between him and the Turkish Cypriot leader have not, so far, met his expectations.

    Speaking during a bicommunal event organised by AKEL, Christofias party, and the Republican Turkish Party, at Dherynia, on the east, Christofias said that despite the fact that the whole process is still at the beginning and it is premature to reach safe conclusions, we cannot be as satisfied as we would like to with the course of the negotiations.

    He said that the vast majority of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots feel pessimism about the prospects for a Cyprus settlement, noting that this is a negative development.

    We reject categorically solutions which impose the presence of foreign troops on our country or which place Cyprus under the custody of foreign countries, irrespective of how close these countries are to one or the other community in Cyprus, the President stressed.

    President Christofias underlined that we are not disappointed and we do not abandon the efforts for a settlement. We will continue our efforts to reunite the territory, the people, the institutions and the economy of our common homeland.

    Noting that he comes from a movement which had always fought for the good of all Cypriots, irrespective of religion, origin or language, Christofias said he will continue working for a peaceful homeland, in a bicommunal bizonal federation with political equality, as defined by the UN.

    As he pointed out, we will continue to work for a federation that will give broad autonomy to the two communities and the two federal states, while at the same time it will provide for a single state which will have a single sovereignty, a single citizenship and a single international personality.

    In this federal common state of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, human rights and the fundamental freedoms will be safeguarded for all the people, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins, he added.

    Christofias expressed regret over the position of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat about the existence of two peoples in Cyprus, noting that this position is contrary to the historic reality, the agreements which established the Republic of Cyprus as a united, bicommunal state and UN resolutions, the positions and the decisions of the international community, which provide for a single state with one people in Cyprus, comprising two communities, the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot. He explained that in international law, peoples have the right to self-determination and this position leads to two states.

    We can accept neither confederation nor partition or the creation of two separate states. This would be catastrophic for our people and we reject such notions categorically, the President stressed.

    He said the common state will respect diversity, the ethnic and cultural identity of the two communities and will cultivate common characteristics between the two communities.

    Christofias also said that the Cypriots must not let their fate in the hands of others, but instead they should decide for their own fate.

    This is a duty which lies in the hands of the leaders of the two communities and we have an obligation to bring it to a conclusion. We can do it if reasonable positions are tabled at the negotiating table, which would serve the interests of the people and not those of foreigners, he concluded.

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