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House President critical of US moves to upgrade illegal regime
2005-02-18 10:54:19

Nicosia, Feb 18 (CNA) --

Cyprus House President and Acting President of the Republic Demetris Christofias has said moves by the US to upgrade the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime, in occupied Cyprus, are contrary to international law and order.

He pointed out that the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots is the result of the unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) in the occupied north, adding that the Cyprus government does not wish to see the Turkish Cypriots isolated.

On efforts to rekindle interest in talks for a political settlement, Christofias called on the UN to sound out the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides about their positions on how to make headway towards this direction.

''I am not surprised that a trade mission from Turkey, representing US interests, was in occupied Cyprus on Thursday. This is part of Washington's moves, after the Greek Cypriots rejected a UN proposed solution (the Annan plan), to raise obstacles for the Greek Cypriot side and upgrade the institutions of the illegal regime,'' he added.

His comments come a day after Turkish businessmen, accompanied by the commercial attache of the US embassy in Ankara, paid a one-day visit to occupied Cyprus to promote business deals. The Cyprus government has lodged a protest with Washington in connection with the visit.

''This is contrary to UN resolutions on Cyprus and to international law and order,'' Christofias said.

He noted that it would be difficult to upgrade the status of the Turkish Cypriot regime, taking into consideration that Cyprus is a member of the European Union and Turkey an aspiring member.

''We do not wish to see the Turkish Cypriots isolated. The isolation is the result of the continuing Turkish occupation and the secessionist move by Ankara to declare a UDI,'' he added.

The UN has branded the Turkish Cypriot regime as ''legally invalid'' and called on all states not to recognise or facilitate it in any way.

Responding to questions about a possible new initiative towards a solution, Christofias said since the Annan plan was rejected by the Greek Cypriot side, the UN should address themselves to both sides here, if they really want to assume an initiative on Cyprus and if they accept that the plan must be reviewed to enable the Greek Cypriots to accept it.

Christofias dismissed suggestions that the Greek Cypriot side must undertake an initiative, noting that so far such initiatives were undertaken by the UN.

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