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Cyprus President: we want a solution as soon as possible
2004-12-28 12:39:29

Nicosia, Dec 28 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos has said that the Greek Cypriot side wants to find a solution to the question of Cyprus as soon as possible, stressing that what Turkey is seeking to achieve is a settlement that would mean the dissolution of the Republic of Cyprus.

Papadopoulos, responding to questions, said there is no official information about a visit to Cyprus in January by UN Under Secretary for Political Affairs Sir Kieran Prendergast, as suggested by some press reports.

''We want a solution the soonest possible,'' President Papadopoulos said, when asked to comment on remarks by Turkey's main opposition leader that the US and Britain should exert pressure on the Greek Cypriot side to agree to a political settlement by October 3, when Ankara is set to begin accession negotiations with the European Union.

Papadopoulos pointed out that what matters is not the solution but the contents of the solution.

''They are seeking a solution which will dissolve the Republic of Cyprus and replace it with some kind of entity in a bid to avoid recognition of the Republic,'' he said.

Turkey, seeking European Union membership, does not recognize Cyprus, an EU member. The EU at its December summit ''welcomed Turkey's decision to sign the Protocol regarding the adaptation of the Ankara Agreement, taking account of the accession of the ten new member states.''

At the summit, Ankara declared its readiness to sign the Protocol ''prior to the actual start of accession negotiations.''

On remarks by the Turkish premier that he is ready to discuss and review a UN solution plan (the Annan plan), Papadopoulos said Tayyip Erdogan has made many ''contradictory and uncertain'' statements which are either for domestic consumption or are addressed to others and not Cyprus.

Papadopoulos said he cannot comment unless there is a formal statement by the Turkish premier.

Responding to questions, President Papadopoulos said that Turkey will first have to conclude the screening process before it embarks on membership talks.

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