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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 03-06-25

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]Wednesday, 25 June 2003 President Papadopoulos announces three additional measures for Turkish Cypriots
  • [02] PACE adopts resolution on situation in occupied Cyprus

    [01] President Papadopoulos announces three additional measures for Turkish Cypriots

    The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Tassos Papadopoulos, received yesterday the leader of the Turkish Cypriot political party "United Cyprus", Mr Izet Izcan. Speaking after the meeting, President Papadopoulos told journalists that, as regarded the Government's support measures for Turkish Cypriots, there were three areas "creating unnecessary obstacles for the Turkish Cypriots", and pledged to make efforts so that the situation could improve. The first problematic area, the President noted, had to do with the fine of 15 for the issuing of birth certificates, which had to be paid by those who had delayed registering their children at the District Officer. "This will be abolished in the effort to show the equality of both Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots", Mr Papadopoulos said, expressing hope that the relevant bill would pass by the Parliament tomorrow. Another issue which was creating difficulties for Turkish Cypriots was the daily insurance fee of 10 for every crossing by car into the government- controlled areas. "Mr Izcan and his colleagues are demanding and are very convincing that the charge of 10 daily for every crossing is an unbearable burden on people who travel with their own cars in the free areas", the President said and pledged to ask the Cabinet to prepare a bill and put it before the House tomorrow, which would provide for the same amount of insurance fee to cover a period of two months or longer. Thirdly, President Papadopoulos made reference to the issue of allowing lorries, carrying goods for purposes of internal trade, to cross into the free areas, saying that without the passage of lorries, the transport of goods, and in extent internal trade, would be impeded. "There are certain obligations we have under the EU regime on such lorries, but we will try to pass also a law this coming Thursday allowing for the passage of lorries as long as they comply, either now or in the near future, with the obligations imposed by the EU", he noted. The Cyprus President said that another issue discussed during his meeting with Mr Izcan was the prospect of resuming negotiations for a solution of the Cyprus problem. "I repeated the decision of the National Council and our policy that we are ready to commence talks and negotiations on the Annan Plan at any time, anywhere and with no conditions attached. We have our reservation on the Plan, some of which we discussed and we insist on. All these reservations are within the parameters of the Plan, so negotiations are needed in order to find a more viable and functional solution because the Turkish Cypriot side has other views of the Plan", Mr Papadopoulos said. He further said that he had assured his Turkish Cypriot friends that he would always be ready to hear their suggestions on how to resolve problems and on ways of rendering contacts of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots more smooth, peaceful and productive for mutual benefit. "With this in mind, I hope we will continue this dialogue", Mr Papadopoulos stressed. For his part, the leader of the Turkish Cypriot party "United Cyprus", Mr Izet Izcan, expressed satisfaction that he and President Papadopoulos had come to an agreement on three issues which were causing difficulties for Turkish Cypriots. He pointed out, however, that the measures could not substitute a solution of the Cyprus issue. The Turkish Cypriot politician noted that there was still a chance for reaching a settlement on the basis of the Annan plan, and pledged to continue to "cooperate, work and support every measure to help the understanding, the solution and rapprochement".

    [02] PACE adopts resolution on situation in occupied Cyprus

    The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has adopted yesterday with an overwhelming majority a resolution on the rights and fundamental freedoms of Greek Cypriots and Maronites living in the Turkish- occupied areas of Cyprus and a recommendation on the colonisation by Turkish settlers of the northern part of the island. In Resolution 1333 (2003), adopted following a joint debate on a report by Mr Dick Marty (Swiss MP) entitled "Rights and fundamental freedoms of Greek Cypriots and Maronites living in the northern part of Cyprus", PACE expressed its extreme concern with the status and living conditions imposed upon the Greek Cypriot and Maronite communities living in the north and insisted that "the Turkish Cypriot administration controlling the northern part of the island, as well as Turkey which assumes de facto legal co-responsibility in this part of the island, cease all humiliation of the Greek and Maronite communities and put an end to the climate of intimidation". The Assembly further demanded that the occupation regime and Turkey end the dispossessions affecting members of these communities, ensure freedom of education and worship for Orthodox Christians and Maronites, end the restrictions on movement across the demarcation line, grant all inhabitants the right to an effective remedy, ensure equal access to medical care, and permit the communities to freely choose their representatives themselves. Furthermore, in Recommendation 1608 (2003), adopted following a joint debate on a report by Mr Jaakko Laakso (Finish MP) entitled "Colonisation by Turkish settlers of the occupied part of Cyprus", PACE claimed that "it is a well-established fact that the demographic structure of the island has been continuously modified since the de facto partition of the island in 1974 as a result of the deliberate policies of the Turkish Cypriot administration and Turkey", and called on Turkey and its Turkish Cypriot subordinate local administration in the occupied areas to stop the process of colonisation by Turkish settlers. "Despite the lack of consensus on the exact figures, all parties concerned admit that Turkish nationals have been systematically arriving in the northern part of the island. According to reliable estimates, their number currently amounts to 115,000", it was stated in the Recommendation. The Assembly conveyed its position "that the presence of the settlers constitutes a process of hidden colonisation and an additional and important obstacle to a peaceful negotiated solution of the Cyprus problem". PACE recommended that the Committee of Ministers instruct the European Population Committee to conduct a census of the whole island's population in co-operation with the authorities concerned, in order to replace estimates with reliable data, and promote the idea of the creation, with a contribution from the international community, of a Fund which would ensure the financing of possible voluntary returns of the Turkish settlers to Turkey.

    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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