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Spokesman: We hope the Turkish side will revise its positions
2002-02-18 16:55:01

Nicosia, Feb 18 (CAN) -- Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou has said that the solution of the Cyprus problem cannot be the result of a middle of the road arrangement between two different things, federation and confederation, and stressed that insistence by the Turkish side on two separate states in Cyprus will lead nowhere, adding that the Greek Cypriot side has conveyed this message to foreign mediators involved in the Cyprus peace effort.

Papapetrou told his press briefing that "the effort to solve the problem has a deadline and will fail", if the Turkish side insists on its demand for a confederation of two sovereign states on the island, a position which is reiterated in a letter Turkish Foreign Minister Ismael Cem has sent recently to his 15 EU counterparts.|

"Our hope is that at the end of the day the Turkish side will revise its positions and adopt views consistent with the parameters of UN Security Council resolutions and the EU acquis communautaire. Then the conditions for a settlement will emerge," he added.

"But I think that such views will lead us nowhere and Turkey is very well aware of that," he added.

Invited to comment on the Turkish position, outlined in Cem's letter, that an interim agreement must be reached, Papapetrou said he failed to understand the meaning of such a remark.

"An effort to solve the problem is currently underway. Either we succeed or we fail. There cannot be anything else in between. There may be some deadlines for the implementation of an agreement but I don't see what an interim solution could mean," Papapetrou said.

He also noted that an agreement in Cyprus cannot be a result of bridging the differences between federation and confederation, "which are totally different", as he said.

Papapetrou said that a solution must comply with the compromise the two communities in Cyprus reached in the '70s, which provides for a bicommunal bizonal federation.

The international community has repeatedly endorsed this compromise, with resolutions adopted by the UN, the EU, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Commonwealth and other organisations, he added.

Invited to say whether this is something foreign mediators should take into consideration, Papapetrou said "certainly and this message is given out by the Greek Cypriot side in an explicit way."

Government Spokesman also said that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash is negotiating within the framework of UN-led direct talks, he has been engaged in with President Clerides since January 16,2002 "and accepts to discuss everything in detail without refusing to discuss issues as he has done in the past."

CNA/MK/MM/2002

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