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National Council calls on the Turkish side to return Famagusta (2)
2003-04-30 16:13:45

Nicosia, Apr 30 (CNA) - The National Council calls on the Turkish side to return the Famagusta area to its legitimate inhabitants as provided for in the relevant UN resolutions.

It further urges Turkey to commit itself to the final withdrawal of the occupation troops and the demilitarisation of Cyprus.

A statement issued on Wednesday regarding the decisions taken yesterday during its meeting, says the National Council believes that the spontaneous, unprompted and very friendly behaviour of Greek and Turkish Cypriots in their recent contacts and meetings has shown in practice the undisputed possibility and sincere desire of the two communities to live together again and cooperate in a reunited country.

It further notes that the announcement of the easing of restrictions in the free movement of people to and from the occupied areas does not constitute a sincere political will on behalf of the Turkish side for a solution to the Cyprus problem but on the contrary is an attempt to bypass the procedures and the framework of the United Nations and to present the pseudostate as a separate and sovereign state

The National Council statement is as follows:

''The National Council, at its meeting yesterday under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic, Mr. Tassos Papadopoulos, discussed the general policy on the package of measures for the Turkish Cypriots which the Cyprus Government will announce and implement as from next Friday, May 2.

In the context of the Government’s policy towards the Turkish Cypriots, the National Council has studied the situation created as a result of the decision of the occupation regime to partially lift the restrictions it imposed 29 years ago as regards crossings to and from the occupied areas. It also made a joint assessment of the motives and the political parameters of this action and reached unanimous findings and positions.

The National Council believes that the spontaneous, unprompted and very friendly behaviour of Greek and Turkish Cypriots in their recent contacts and meetings has shown in practice the undisputed possibility and sincere desire of the two communities to live together again and cooperate in a reunited country. The arguments of the occupation regime and Turkey that allegedly the Greek and Turkish Cypriots cannot live together and that the security of the two communities makes necessary the preservation of the dividing wall are refuted and demolished as entirely baseless. The ordinary Greek and Turkish Cypriot citizens have proved by their attitude that these allegations are unfounded and that there is no need for separatist provisions in any plan for a solution to the Cyprus problem. Such separatist provisions not only thwart the unity of the people and the country, but also halt the normal economic development and progress of the country. Only a workable and viable solution ca! n provide and ensure this developm ent and progress, for the benefit of all the inhabitants of Cyprus, Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

It is pointed out that the Government has faced the whole issue promptly, decisively and effectively. From the very first day it took all the practical measures possible to facilitate the movement of Greek Cypriots to the occupied areas and of Turkish Cypriots to the Government-controlled areas of the Republic and called upon Mr. Denktash to end his illegal demand for passports to be shown and entry permits to be issued.

The free movement of the lawful residents of Cyprus throughout the territory of the Republic is a fundamental human right and has always been the demand and the policy of all the governments of Cyprus. To this demand and policy, the occupation regime put forward its firm refusal for 29 whole years. In a free society the extent and the way of exercising this right, under the terms imposed by the occupation regime, is something that each citizen will have to decide for himself.

Mr. Denktash’s recent decision to relax crossings, creating in this way the impression of goodwill on his part, has been dictated by a sense of the international and internal isolation in which he has found himself and the pressing impasse to which he has led himself through his provocative and unacceptable behaviour.

The National Council considers that this specific action of the occupation regime does not constitute a sincere political will on behalf of the Turkish side for a solution to the Cyprus problem. On the contrary, it is an attempt to bypass the procedures and the framework of the United Nations and is an attempt to present the pseudo-state as a separate and sovereign state. The Turkish side has always been the only obstacle to a solution to the Cyprus problem, the side which rejects negotiations on the Annan Plan and does not display the necessary political will that will allow the UN Secretary-General to resume his efforts for a solution to the Cyprus problem. The opening of the roadblocks is not the solution to the Cyprus problem. The seeming cracks in the wall of division do not mean the abolition of the dividing line imposed and maintained by Turkish troops by the force of arms.

The National Council underlines that the actions of the occupation regime, which involve crossings to and from the occupied areas, do not offer a political solution to the Cyprus problem, or solve the question of properties, or ensure the right to settlement, and of course they do not mean the end of occupation.

The burning desire of the displaced to return to their Turkish-occupied homes and properties is understandable and totally justified. The tolerance shown over the presentation of passports and the issue of “visas” by the occupation regime does not mean recognition, even indirect, of the puppet regime. Nor, of course, does it indicate downgrading of the lawful and internationally recognized State of Cyprus. No tolerance, no action and no measure to facilitate free movement could amount to recognition of the illegal regime or be interpreted as a blow to the authority, existence, and legality of the Cyprus State. And, certainly, the visits of the displaced to the occupied areas will not lead the legal owners to come to terms with the occupation of their homes and properties, as the Turkish side is seeking. Nor will it lead them to give up their right to return permanently to their homes and properties. The temporary emotional satisfaction the displaced Greek Cypriots are gettin! g from visiting their occupied hom es and properties does not diminish or stifle their permanent desire and legal right to return.

The National Council reiterates its firm position and demand for the full, permanent, unhindered and effective safeguarding of the fundamental human rights and freedoms. This position is accepted and shared by the vast majority of Turkish Cypriots.

Only the Turkish side’s positive response to matters concerning fundamental human rights and freedoms will prove the sincerity of its intentions and its political will for a workable and viable solution to the Cyprus problem.

For this reason the National Council calls on the Turkish side to return the Famagusta area to its legitimate inhabitants as provided for in the relevant UN resolutions, to implement the Third Vienna agreement regarding the enclaved, to cooperate effectively in ascertaining the fate of the missing persons, as agreed in July 1997, and to commit itself to the final withdrawal of the occupation troops and the demilitarization of Cyprus.

Its reply is awaited.

At the same time, the Greek Cypriot side declares its willingness and readiness to engage in immediate and substantive negotiations on the basis of the Annan plan in order to find a solution in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions, as asked by the President of the Republic in his letter of 2 April 2003 to the Turkish Cypriot leader''.|

CNA/EC/RG/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
30/04/2003

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