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Resumption of negotiations way to solution, says President
2003-08-06 19:36:35

by Apostolis Zoupaniotis
United Nations, Aug 6 (CNA) -- The best way to make headway in the Cyprus issue is to resume negotiations with a view at reaching a viable and functional solution as soon as possible, Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos has stressed, reiterating his readiness to engage immediately in substantive talks on the basis of a UN peace plan.

In a letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, President Papadopoulos points out that there is no lack of confidence between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots but what is lacking is a comprehensive settlement.

The Cypriot President also stresses that both communities on the island should indicate at the beginning of the talks their acceptance of Annan's peace plan as the basis for further negotiations in order to achieve a settlement, consistent with the Security Council resolutions.|

''I am certain that you share my position that the best hope for us to proceed forward is through the resumption of negotiations, aiming at reaching a viable and functional solution as soon as possible. I have repeatedly expressed my readiness to immediately engage in substantive negotiations on the basis of your plan of 26 February 2003,'' the President said in his letter to Kofi Annan, dated 18 July, in response to a letter Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash had sent to Annan on 11 July, which was also communicated to the President.

Papadopoulos reiterated that ''if any resumption of the talks is to be meaningful I believe that both communities should indicate at the outset that they accept your plan as the basis for a further negotiating process, within the framework of your good offices mission, in order to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem as provided for in relevant Security Council resolutions.''

He points out that ''Denktash's approach, as defined in his letter, follows the logic of his letter to me of 2 April 2003, by which he attributed the stalemate at the Hague to ''the 'socio-psychological' dimension of the problem and especially the deep crisis of confidence between the two sides'', a view that is obviously unfounded.''

Papadopoulos notes that after the deadlock at the Hague, Denktash has consistently engaged in an effort to eliminate every prospect for the resumption of the talks on the basis of the Annan plan and to disorient both international and Turkish Cypriot public opinion about who is to blame for the failure of the talks and the current stalemate.

The Cypriot President noted that the discussions on confidence-building measures held in 1993-1994 resulted in a deadlock solely due to Denktash's insistence on pursuing his objective to promote the acknowledgement of his secessionist entity, he set up in 1983 in the areas of Cyprus Turkey occupies since its troops invaded in 1974.

''The interaction witnessed recently between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots following the partial lifting of restrictions on the freedom of movement, which have been imposed by the occupation regime over the last 29 years, has provided concrete and sound evidence that no lack of confidence exists among ordinary people and has unambiguously shown that what is really lacking is a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem,'' he stresses.

The President's letter circulated as a document of the UN General Assembly and the Security Council, after Cyprus' Charge d'Affaires George Kasoulides addressed a letter to Annan.

CNA AZ/MM/GP/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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