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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 03-06-02

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]Monday, 02 June 2003 President Papadopoulos returns from St. Petersburg

    [01] President Papadopoulos returns from St. Petersburg

    The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Tassos Papadopoulos, returned yesterday from St. Petersburg, Russia, where he represented Cyprus at the EU-Russia Summit that took place on the occasion of the celebrations for the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg. Addressing the Summit, President Papadopoulos cited Cyprus' "excellent relations" with Russia and stressed that the Republic of Cyprus, as an acceding country and later as a full member state of the European Union, would contribute towards the deepening of the Union's relations with Russia. "On our part, as a new member state of the Union, we also look forward to the extension of the EU-Russia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement to Cyprus, a step that would further enrich and put on a new track our relations", he added. In statements to the press after the end of the Summit, Mr Papadopoulos expressed satisfaction with the outcome of his contacts in St. Petersburg on the sidelines of the EU-Russia Summit. He pointed out that he had met the European Council President and Greek Premier, Mr Costas Simitis, three times on the sidelines of the Summit. He further said that he had the opportunity to talk briefly with various leaders such as the French President, Mr Jacques Chirac, the British Prime Minister, Mr Tony Blair, and the Presidents of the Baltic States, whom he briefed on the latest developments concerning the Cyprus problem. Mr Papadopoulos noted that both he and members of the Cypriot delegation held meetings on the sidelines of the Summit, during which they explained that the Cyprus problem had reached an impasse mainly due to Turkey's and the Turkish Cypriot side's insistence on a solution based on two separate states. "We tried to show, in all our meetings, that this is not a solution, and something like that cannot be accepted", he added. On the subject matter of the Summit, President Papadopoulos said that it dealt solely with the EU-Russia cooperation agreement. Albeit the Cyprus problem was not on the agenda, as Mr Papadopoulos pointed out, the Greek Prime Minister referred to Cyprus in a brief statement saying that "the European Union expects Turkey to shift its policy as regards the Cyprus problem so as to enable the resumption of the talks on the basis of the Annan plan". Furthermore, upon his arrival at Larnaca Airport yesterday, the President was asked to comment on statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktash, who said that the issue of property was the key to a solution of the Cyprus problem. In reply, President Papadopoulos stressed that the issue of property was significant to a solution but it did not constitute the sole element of disagreement. "The return of refugees, the implementation of human rights, the establishment of a functional and lasting state are other basic issues which are the obstacles in finding a solution", he added. On the Turkish Cypriot leader's intention to set up pseudo-courts in the occupied areas to deal with property disputes, the President stressed that the Turkish side was trying to set up "not courts but bodies that will define the amounts of compensation in property issues", in order to prevent Greek Cypriots from claiming their property through the European Court of Human Rights. "We have been aware of this issue for a few weeks now and we have sought expert legal opinion", Mr Papadopoulos told journalists, noting, "It is the prevailing position that this kind of manoeuvre by Mr Denktash is neither legally nor practically valid". He further pointed out that any body created by Mr Denktash in occupied Cyprus would be "subordinate" to Ankara and therefore invalid, according to the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in the Titina Loizidou case.

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


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