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Cyprus FM: Resumption of talks possible after May 2005
2005-01-10 09:49:12

Larnaca, Jan 9 (CNA) --- Cyprus Foreign Minister George Iacovou believes that it is possible for negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus problem to resume after May 2005.

Iacovou noted that two so - called elections will take place in Cyprus' Turkish occupied areas, one in February and one in May and added that ''as usual, until these elections are finished, nothing will happen''.

Speaking on his arrival yesterday from Brussels, where he attended the extraordinary meeting of the General Affairs and External Relations Council to address the consequences of the tsunami in Asia, Iacovou said that the Greek Cypriot side has already made clear which preconditions are necessary for the resumption of talks.

''We have a clear position on that, which was made known to all interested, and that is that we can participate to negotiations for solving the Cyprus problem'', he said.

Replying to a question he said that there is no official information on behalf of the UN about a new initiative for solving the Cyprus problem.

''Knowing how the UN organisation works, how many problems they have at this stage, as well as the Secretary General himself, I think this is not the moment (for restarting Cyprus talks). UN Secretary General is not ready yet to make a move on Cyprus'', he noted.

Iacovou expressed the opinion that the US would not have any active involvement regarding the Cyprus issue in the next two or three months.

''There are two elections in the Turkish Cypriot side on February and May. For the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey the international community has always shown great tolerance as regards these procedures'', he noted.

Invited to comment on statements made by Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul that solving the Cyprus issue is not a precondition for Turkey to start accession negotiations with the EU, Iacovou said ''indeed, a solution to the Cyprus problem is not needed. What is needed though is signing the protocol regarding the adaptation of the Ankara Agreement, which means recognition of the Republic of Cyprus''.

He noted that if singing the protocol would not have meant recognition of the Republic of Cyprus, then Turkey would have signed it without any problems.

''Turkey can not start accession negotiations with the EU without signing this protocol'', he underlined.

Invited to comment on press reports that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will discuss with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin the lifting of the so - called economic isolation of Turkish Cypriots, Iacovou said that the government of Cyprus is in constant contact with the Russian government.

He did not rule out the possibility the issue of financial support of Turkish Cypriots to be brought back for discussion before the UN Security Council by USA and Britain.

Iacovou noted though that he did not have any such information and that Greece is since January 1st 2005 a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.

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