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Government embarks on information campaign
2003-04-03 19:46:08

Nicosia, Apr 3 (CNA) -- The government has embarked on a campaign to inform all interested parties about the real objectives and intentions behind a letter Turkish Cypriot leader has sent to the President, suggesting ideas to initiate a dialogue between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides.

''None of the ideas put forward by Rauf Denktash was specific and none can have immediate effect,'' Government Spokesman Kypros Chrisostomides said on the matter, adding that Denktash's proposals aimed at ''diverting the peace process away from the UN framework.''

He said Denktash's ideas would have led to the ''indirect or direct recognition of his self-styled Turkish Cypriot regime in Turkish occupied Cyprus, something Denktash is seeking to achieve for years now.''|

Chrisostomides said Nicosia was in touch with Athens last night about this issue and the Greek government is totally in line with the response of President Tassos Papadopoulos to Denktash, communicated Wednesday night.|

Papadopoulos told Denktash in his reply letter that the Cyprus question must be solved through the good offices mission of the UN Secretary General and pointed out that the collapse of the UN-led peace efforts, last month, was due to Ankara's and Denktash's refusal to accept a UN peace proposal as a basis for negotiation.

Denktash announced his proposals at a press conference Wednesday afternoon, ahead of a debate on Cyprus at the Security Council and in view of the signing of the Accession Treaty later this month by Cyprus and nine other EU acceding countries.

''President Papadopoulos does not expect a reply from Denktash, but the Turkish Cypriot leader is in the habit of sending letters,'' the spokesman said.

Replying to questions, he said that if Denktash commits himself to the continuation of the negotiations on the basis of the process defined by Kofi Annan, based on the Secretary General's peace plan, then the President Papadopoulos believes that the dialogue could continue to solve all the problems, including the socio-psychological problems referred to by Denktash.

The spokesman was categorical that the Denktash proposals cannot influence the contents of a UN report on the peace effort.

''As things stand neither the report nor any subsequent decision by the Security Council can be influenced. Our Accession Treaty with the European Union cannot in any way be linked to this either,'' Chrisostomides added.

Replying to questions about Annan's peace plan, he said that provisions in it cannot possibly be adopted by the Security Council as the plan was rejected by the Turkish Cypriot side and it is not completed.

On plans by the government to announce measures in support of the Turkish Cypriots, the spokesman said that these will not be announced before 16 April, when Cyprus and the another nine countries will sign in Athens the Accession Treaty.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.


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