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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-08-28

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Turkey has to change its stance on Cyprus, radically, to help find a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has stressed.

    In statements before the 16th World Conference of Overseas Cypriots, Stephanou rejected any notion that the islands two communities are on an equal par as far as past offenses are concerned, which, some have alleged, justify Turkeys invasion of Cyprus in 1974.

    Turkeys responsibilities are actual and real, he pointed out.

    Responding to questions by delegates on the Cyprus issue, the Spokesman said that the agreed solution will have internal and external aspects.

    We are talking about a comprehensive solution of the problem, which has internal, as well as international aspects. The internal aspects are those that can be resolved by the two communities and this is what we are discussing at the intercommunal talks, he said, noting that the primary objective is to show that there is common language between the two communities.

    The international aspect of the problem includes the presence of the Turkish troops in Cyprus, the influx of illegal settlers in the islands northern Turkish occupied areas and the participation of Cyprus in the international scene, Stephanou said.

    The Spokesman stressed that the Greek Cypriot side supports the evolution of the Republic of Cyprus, which was established in 1960, into a federal bi-zonal and bi-communal state.

    This state will continue to be a member of the United Nations, as it has been since 1960, and will continue to be a member state of the European Union, as it has been since 2004, he added.

    Stephanou said that the government tries to put pressure on Turkey to cooperate for a just solution.

    He also pointed out that Turkey is responsible for the situation in Cyprus, and added: we should press on with this. Turkey continues to violate international law. What President Christofias says is that, in order the two communities to become credible, we should admit that we have made mistakes or some people from both communities have committed errors, entrapped by foreigners, he said.

    Stephanou stressed that Turkey continues to be responsible for the situation in Cyprus, as its troops continue to occupy part of the country.

    He called on Cypriots abroad to coordinate their moves with Nicosia in order to promote the Greek Cypriot positions in a more concerted manner and at the same time he praised their role in the effort to find a just and viable solution.

    I would like to convey a clear message of support because we acknowledge that you support us, and you are struggling for the common objective which is the solution of the Cyprus problem, he stressed.

    Speaking after a meeting between President Christofias and House President Marios Garoyian, the Government Spokesman referred to a National Council meeting in mid September, during which participating political parties will have the opportunity to express their views and collectively reach decisions on the issue of Turkeys assessment by the European Union in December.

    The National Council, the top advisory body to President Demetris Christofias on the handling of the Cyprus question, comprises representatives of parliamentary parties and will meet for two days on September 14-15.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Peace talks are underway between the leaders of the two communities to find a negotiated settlement that would reunite the country under a federal roof.


    Ankara has to provide evidence about the fate of missing persons in Cyprus, who were arrested and taken to Turkey during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, George Economides, vice president of the Committee of Relatives of Missing Persons and Undeclared Prisoners of War has said.

    In his address to the 16th world congress of overseas Cypriots, he appealed to everybody to work in the direction of Ankara to secure its consent to investigate such cases.

    We must also address ourselves to decision-making centres around the world and persuade them to work towards this direction. Turkeys negative stance carries a political cost, in particular as the Council of Europe insists that Ankara must allow investigations to take place and provide information, he added.


    President Demetris Christofias departs on Sunday for Damascus, Syria, on a two-day official visit at the invitation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. During the visit bilateral agreements will be signed on culture, sports, agriculture and the environment, social insurance and telecommunications.

    President Christofias will meet President Assad, whom he will brief on the latest developments in the Cyprus issue. They will also discuss issues of bilateral and regional concern. President Christofias will also hold a series of meetings with the Syrian Prime Minister Mohammed Naji Otri, the Speaker of the People`s Assembly of the Syrian Arab Republic Mahmoud Al Abrash, and the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East Ignatius IV.

    President Christofias will be accompanied by his wife Elsi, Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou, and the Minister of Communication and Works Nicos Nicolaides.

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