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President: all should gain from a settlement
2003-01-25 17:47:26

Nicosia, Jan 25 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides has said that he is seeking to reach a negotiated agreement that would be a "win-win" situation for Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots alike.

The President called on the international community to exert its influence on the Turkish side in a more forceful manner now than it has done in the past to help the latest UN effort towards a solution.

''Neither the Greek Cypriots nor the Turkish Cypriots have gained anything from the troubles of the past. We were all losers. Now we want to win, all of us, as part of a compromise solution, which will be acceptable to both communities,'' the President said, at the unveiling of a monument dedicated to two Greek Cypriots killed in the intercommunal fighting of the early 1960s.|

He said the history of the island sends the message that political wisdom and responsibility are needed to handle the Cyprus question.

''We wish to live again together with our compatriots the Turkish Cypriots, whom we do not see as our enemies,'' he said.

The President said that the European Union decision to accept Cyprus in its ranks in May 2004 acts as a catalyst on the peace effort but also on the disposition of the Turkish Cypriots.

Turkish Cypriots demonstrated in their thousands in the past weeks in Turkish occupied Cyprus demanding a settlement on the basis of a UN plan and accession to the EU, which had made it clear that Cyprus will join the Union with or without a political settlement.

''The UN and our side are making every effort to find a solution as soon as possible. I would like to hope that this time the international community will exert its influence on the Turkish side to a greater extent to bring this effort to a successful conclusion,'' he said.

The President and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Dentkash are engaged in direct negotiations on a UN peace proposal for a comprehensive settlement. The UN has set 28 of February as a target date for a settlement to enable a reunited Cyprus to sign the accession treaty in April.

CNA MM/2003

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