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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-07-24

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President Demetris Christofias has called on Turkey to change its stance on the Cyprus problem, not only for the sake of Cyprus, but also for its own sake, to facilitate its European aspirations.

    The President urged the international community and his European partners to support, without intervening, the ongoing UN-led negotiations and address themselves to Ankara, if they really want to help find a political settlement in Cyprus.

    In a speech at an event in memory of Cyprus first President the late Archbishop Makarios and those killed defending democracy during the 1974 military coup and the Turkish invasion that followed, Christofias said that Ankara must know that Nicosia cannot give its consent to its unhindered course towards the EU, if Turkey itself continues to deal with Cyprus with arrogance and claim control and sovereignty over the Cypriot state.

    Christofias explained that we have chosen to act in such a way and follow such a policy that would estrange our Turkish Cypriot compatriots from subordination to Turkey.

    Some people in the Turkish Cypriot leadership, he noted, might be annoyed with such views but he expressed certainty that our words and actions are resonant in the hearts of our Turkish Cypriot compatriots who are suffocating under Turkey`s occupation and the division of our country.

    President Christofias said that even though many things depend on Turkeys policy, we do not choose to follow developments passively but we struggle to improve things and create the conditions for a settlement, at least to the extent that depends on us.

    He said that Turkey has a decisive role to play in the Cyprus question, but the factor Turkish Cypriots, in particular those who want a united Cyprus, must not be ignored.

    Greek Cypriots, he added, must discuss with the Turkish Cypriots to solve problems in relations between the two communities, adding at the same time that the settlement of the Cyprus question is not easy given that it depends primarily on Turkey, whose troops occupy Cyprus` northern part since they invaded in 1974.

    If Turkey does not change its policy, if it does not comply with international law, the settlement of the Cyprus question is not possible, he pointed out, adding that everyone must understand this, especially the international community and Cyprus EU partners.

    Christofias expressed regret that arguments put forward by Turkey to justify the invasion and the continuing occupation are being embraced by some circles who should safeguard international law and mainly the values and principles on which the EU was founded.

    He underlined that we will never compromise with division, we are taking and we will continue to take concrete initiatives to pave the way towards a settlement.

    Referring to the ongoing talks between him and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, which began in September 2008, Christofias reiterated that we are not as satisfied as we would like to have been from the progress achieved.

    For the sake of Cyprus and our people we want a settlement the soonest possible. Finding a solution depends on and is directly linked with the proposals tabled at the negotiations and whether these serve the goal for a bizonal bicommunal federation and not on certain milestones, the President said.

    He said that the Turkish side continues to interpret the settlement and submit proposals which in many cases are outside or contradict the agreed framework of a settlement, whereas the Greek Cypriot sides proposals are fully in line with the agreed framework and serve totally the goal for a united federal republic, with the rights of both communities and its citizens safeguarded.

    Christofis said that in our effort to solve the Cyprus question we seek the support and the help of the international community, the EU and our partners in the Union.

    We are doing a lot towards this direction, he said and expressed hope that ``those involved in the Cyprus question mean what they say, when they state that they have learned from the experiences of the past and do not wish to make the mistakes of 2004 again, adding however that in fact some things indicate the contrary.

    In 2004, the people of Cyprus were asked to vote on a UN-proposed solution plan, the result of arbitration and not negotiation. The overwhelming majority of the Greek Cypriots rejected the plan, saying it did not lead to the reunification of the country nor did it serve the interests of the people of Cyprus. The majority of the Turkish Cypriots approved it.

    Christofias said that if the international community and Europe really want to help reach a settlement, they must support without any intervention the procedure of the talks and exert their influence on Ankara.

    He said that we are struggling for a Cyprus settlement based on the principles of international and European law, on the basis of UN resolutions and the high level agreements of 1977 and 1979 between the leaders of the two communities, which provide for a bizonal bicommunal federation.

    Our goal is to free our country of Turkeys occupation and do away with foreign dependencies, to terminate the influx of illegal settlers, to reunite the country, the state, the economy, the institutions and the people, to restore human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots and to ascertain the fate of our missing persons, he said, stressing that we will do our outmost to achieve these goals.


    The National Council will convene on September 14 and 15 to continue the discussion on the course of the ongoing UN-led direct talks between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus to find a political settlement and on the progress report on Turkey`s EU accession course.

    Speaking after Friday`s meeting of the National Council, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said President of the Republic Demetris Christofias briefed the members of the Council in detail on the course of the talks, based on documents submitted, adding that in September the members will be presenting their views.

    The National Council is the top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus problem, and comprises leaders and representatives of parliamentary parties.

    Replying to questions, Stephanou said all political parties submitted positions and views on Turkey`s EU accession course, verbally or in writing.


    President of the House of Representatives Marios Garoyian on Friday called on the UN and the EU ``to at long last bring Turkey before its responsibilities and its obligations towards the international community and international law and order.``

    ``In view of the progress report on Turkey`s EU accession course in December, we wish to clearly warn that Ankara`s accession course will not be smooth if it continues to refuse to comply with its obligations towards the EU and the Republic of Cyprus, emanating from the Ankara Protocol and the Statement of September 2005. Yes, Turkey will pay a huge price if it continues its intransigent and provocative behaviour,`` he added.

    Addressing an event in memory of Archbishop Makarios III, the first President of the Republic of Cyprus, Garoyian said ``we are ready for an honorable and just compromise but we do not accept illegitimate solutions and closure of the Cyprus problem that will not bring justice, will not terminate the occupation, will not restore the unity of the state, the people and the institutions, and will not terminate the influx of illegal settlers, we do not accept a solution to emerge from a virgin birth or provide Turkey with guarantee or intervention rights.``

    ``We are ready for an historical compromise, a solution of a bizonal bicommunal federation. We reject a confederation or two-state solution,`` he said, adding that Turkey ``wants a solution based on its own terms and strategic plans, a solution that will not even serve the interests of the Turkish Cypriots.``


    Cypriots appear to be among the most pessimistic and worried Europeans as regards the financial crisis, according to a Eurobarometer survey published on Friday.

    In particular, 73% of the Cypriots who have participated in the survey, anticipate that the worst as regards employment is still to come, in comparison to 61% in the EU27. The percentage as regards concern in Cyprus is the biggest in the Eurozone and the fourth biggest in the community after the three Baltic countries.

    A percentage of 7% of those interviewed in Cyprus said that they have lost their jobs during the crisis. This is one of the lower percentages among the EU27 along with Luxembourg.

    To a question if a member of their family or a friend has lost his job, 30% of the Cypriots interviewed replied affirmatively, while the average relevant EU27 percentage reached 36%. Moreover, 13% of those interviewed in Cyprus responded that one of their colleagues was fired due to the crisis. This is one of the lowest percentages in the community (EU27 average reached 24%).

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