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Opposition leader acknowledges urgent need for correct solution
2005-03-14 13:47:40

Larnaca, Mar 13 (CNA) -- Nikos Anastasiades, leader of the main opposition Democratic Rally (DISI) party, has said that he shares the view expressed by Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos that the need to find a negotiated settlement must not override the substance of the solution.

Speaking on departure for Luxembourg to attend a European Union meeting, Anastasiades also said that he neither is nor does he intend to become the official negotiator on Cyprus, pointing out that it is his duty to press on with the party policy on making moves in European circles to outline the positions of the overwhelming majority of the people of Cyprus.

''I do not disagree with President Papadopoulos' assertion'' that there is an urgent need to find a political settlement but not to the detriment of the contents of such a solution, Anastasiades said, as he was leaving for Luxembourg to participate in a meeting of chairmen of parliamentary Committees on External Affairs of EU members, the European Parliament and candidate countries.

Papadopoulos has said that a bad political settlement in Cyprus would be the safest guarantee for worse things to come, adding that the urgency for a solution must not override the need for a viable and workable resolution of the problem. He also stressed that he remains committed to a solution, through substantive negotiations, of a bizonal, bicommunal federation that would reunite the country and safeguard effectively the security, the rights and a better future for all its citizens.

''Both points are important and I do not disagree with them,'' the opposition leader said.

In Luxembourg he is also set to meet Premier and current president of the European Council Jean Claude Juncker and possibly have a second meeting with Turkish premier Tayyip Erdogan, whom he met in mid February in Turkey.

Responding to questions, Anastasiades said that he is not nor will he become ''the official negotiator on Cyprus'', stressing however that he would never cease to act in accordance to party decisions that call for moves in Europe and abroad to present the positions of Cyprus.

''This is everybody's duty and that is what I am doing,'' he said.

His remarks come to fend off criticism that he is trying to upstage President Papadopoulos in his moves to push for a political settlement.

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