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House President: Cyprus solution will serve Turkey's interests too
2002-04-12 10:46:14

By Apostolis Zoupaniotis- New York, Apr 12 (CNA) -- Cyprus House of Representatives President Demetris Christofias has called on the international community to press upon Turkey that it is in its interest and that of the Turkish Cypriots to find a peaceful settlement in Cyprus on the basis of UN resolutions.

He stressed no solution will be found unless Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash relinquishes his demand for two separate states.

Christofias, who was speaking at a meeting with members of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, urged the Committee to exert its influence on the US administration to play a more decisive role in the search for a just and viable solution.|

Referring to the ongoing peace talks, Christofias said there has been no progress in the past three months because the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides have a completely different agenda.

Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, representing the Greek Cypriot community at the talks, is seeking to set up a bizonal, bicommunal federation, in line with UN resolutions. Denktash insists on two separate states, with separate sovereignty, loosely linked under a confederal roof.

Clerides and Denktash started direct talks, under UN auspices, in mid January this year. They have completed two rounds of discussions and this week they began a third round, with the Security Council expressing concern at the slow pace of the negotiations and the absence of speedy progress.

"The international community has to exert pressure on the Turkish side and press upon it that it is in the interest of Turkey and that of the Turkish Cypriots to find a peaceful settlement based on UN resolutions and see Cyprus joining the European Union as a single state," Christofias said.

Unless Denktash changes his philosophy on Cyprus, there will be no solution, he added.

Christofias, a strong supporter of rapprochement between the island's two communities, said efforts to bring Greek and Turkish Cypriot closer together are backed by both sides, in spite of Denktash's attempts to exploit such encounters with a view at securing recognition of his self-styled regime in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus.

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