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Papadopoulos rejects Erdogan's view of ''two states'' in Cyprus
2003-05-09 11:59:02

Nicosia, May 9 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos rejected Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's position that there are ''two sovereign states'' on the island. <

In a statement issued by Papadopoulos, as Erdogan is conducting a one-day illegal ''visit'' to the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, the President said if Erdogan supports a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, as well as the good offices mission of the UN Secretary-General just as he claimed during his departure from Turkey today, he can turn his general declaration into a specific political action''.

This way, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash will be persuaded to come forward to substantial negotiations, accepting the Annan plan as a basis for negotiations, he added.|

Cyprus' accession to the EU, President Papadopoulos said, led the UN to intensify efforts for an overall settlement.

The President expressed hope that these fundamental principles will be acknowledged as corresponding to today's realities, and that from this acknowledgement any developments leading to a just, viable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem will be determined.

In his statement, Papadopoulos said Erdogan's ''visit'' to the occupied areas is an ''illegal action that comes from the political leader of a country which invaded and still occupies illegally and with the use of force a great part of the Republic of Cyprus whose independence, territorial integrity and security it had guaranteed in 1960''.

He said ''if Mr. Erdogan supports a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, as well as the good offices mission of the Secretary-General just as he claimed during his departure from Turkey today, he can turn his general declaration into a specific political action, persuading Mr. Denktash to come forward to substantial negotiations, accepting the Annan plan as a basis for negotiations''.

Papadopoulos reiterated the willingness and readiness of the Greek Cypriot side for ''direct and substantial talks under the UN auspices, based on the Annan plan, to find a solution based on the relevant UN decisions''.

''Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots have actually shown and with their attitude proved in the last days that the common vision of a reunited country unites them'', he said.

''The two communities can and should live together in peace, through a reunited country and a single state, within the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation. However, the recent ease in the restrictions in the freedom of movement of citizens, imposed by the Turkish side since 1974, and the pursuit of measures of good neighbourliness cannot be considered nor do they constitute a solution to the Cyprus problem'', he added.

''The political approach for the creation of two areas in Cyprus with a nationally component population respectively, clashes with high-level agreements and the relevant Security Council resolutions. It is therefore just that resolutions 541 and 550 consider the declaration of the 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' legally invalid and demand its revocation and call on the states not to recognise it'', Papadopoulos noted.

He said ''the experience of all these years proves that the international community neither accepts nor it can accept the existence and recognition of two sovereign states on the island'' and that ''it was the insistence in the recognition of a second state on the island that led to the isolation of our Turkish Cypriot compatriots, without any responsibility on our part''.

''Because of the occupation and the division, Cyprus' accession to the European Union does not allow the implementation of the acquis communautaire throughout the island. It was Cyprus' accession prospect to the EU that led the UN to intensify efforts for an overall settlement, with the approval of all, including Mr. Denktash'', Papadopoulos said.

''I hope that these fundamental principles will be acknowledged as corresponding to today's realities, and that from this acknowledgement any developments leading to a just, viable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem will be determined'', the President concluded.

Speaking to reporters during a gathering to celebrate Europe Day today, President Papadopoulos said it would seem strange to him if Erdogan announced measures that Denktash ought to announce himself.

Invited to comment on reports that Erdogan would not announce any measures during his illegal ''visit'', Papadopoulos said ''most of the rumours were press reports, it would seem very strange for Mr. Erdogan to announce measures in Cyprus which Mr. Denktash ought to announce''.

Invited to comment on statements that the views of Erdogan and Denktash were similar, Papadopoulos said this was not something irregular.

He said he could not see any difference in statements and policy between Erdogan and Denktash since the collapse of The Hague talks.

Papadopoulos reiterated that the measures are not a solution. ''I would say they are not even a step towards a solution'', he added.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

CNA/KN/EC/RG/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
09/05/2003

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