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Papadopoulos demands real decision by the turkish parliament
2004-02-24 10:56:52

Nicosia, Feb 24 (CNA) -- The Greek Cypriot side demands not just a commitment but a real decision from the Turkish National Assembly for the ratification of a Cyprus agreement, Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said here today.

Speaking to the press after the third meeting in the context of the UN-led talks which began last Thursday, President Papadopoulos explained that without a ratification of the agreement there will be no Cyprus Republic.

Asked if discussions on the important matters have begun during today's talks with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in the presence of UN Secretary General's special adviser for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto the Cypriot President said ''all issues are substantial''.

''As I have noted upon my arrival from New York the road ahead is long and difficult and we must be persuaded whether it is possible to achieve the changes we consider as essential in Annan Plan and be able to talk about a united Cyprus and not a Cyprus divided according to criteria of ethnic origin'', the President said.

Commenting on a remark that the Turkish Cypriot leader's stance does not seem to lead to the conclusion that there can be an agreement before the UN Secretary General steps in to fill in the gaps, Papadopoulos said ''proof of intentions and wishes will appear in the negotiating room, and so will our positions''.

''When he raises such issues we bring up the equivalent as included in my letter to the Secretary General dated 10 February. Obviously if he moves on in this direction we also have our own additional demands'', stressed President Papadopoulos.

Asked to comment on Turkish officials' remarks that the Turkish National Assembly should approve an agreement after the referenda in Cyprus he noted that the Turkish side seems to believe that it is enough to have a commitment that a ratification will take place.

''What we ask is not just a commitment but a real decision of the Turkish Parliament. You realise that without a ratification of the agreement there will be no Cyprus Republic and it will be not certain under what legal authority the Turkish troops will stay in Cyprus or even whether they must go away'', he noted.

Answering to another question he said that whenever the UN Secretary General's special adviser for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto, who conducts the talks, asks for separate meetings he will be ready to participate.

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