Cyprus government says no formal proposal submitted to UN
Nicosia, Mar 18 (CNA) - Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said that the Cypriot government has not submitted a formal proposal to the UN to resume deliberations on Cyprus but is conducting investigative contacts in the framework of efforts to resume talks.
He was invited to comment on a statement made by the UN Secretary-General's Spokesman, who on the one hand confirmed that there has been a recent meeting between the Republic's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Andreas Mavroyiannis and UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Sir Kieran Prendergast, and on the other hand said ''no formal proposals were presented at that meeting.''
Regarding the State Department Spokesman's statement that any changes to the plan proposed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan for a Cyprus settlement would have to be done in a manner that is acceptable to the majorities on both sides of the island, Chrysostomides said that this was not a new US position.
Asked about yesterday's revelations by the Polish President during his official visit to the island and subsequently by President Tassos Papadopoulos that the Greek Cypriot side has proposed to the UN to resume the process, the Spokesman said that ''our position is that we are ready to begin deliberations and procedures immediately for renegotiation with an aim to solve the Cyprus problem.''
Chrysostomides said this was conveyed to the UN during Mavroyiannis' meeting with Sir Kieran, ''meaning that we are ready to begin deliberations and it was requested that investigative procedures commence on the part of the UN towards a new resumption of negotiations.''
''It cannot be derived from President Papadopoulos' statement that any proposal was submitted,'' the Spokesman added.
''A new proposal, in the sense that a meeting was held between the Permanent Representative and Mr. Prendergast, yes, it is something that has not happened in the past,'' Chrysostomides clarified.
''We hope that a new procedure to resume talks will begin soon,'' the Spokesman added.
Asked why the Polish President construed the whole issue as a new initiative, the Spokesman said that the Polish President has in substance confirmed that contacts are being held on the Greek Cypriot side with the UN to resume deliberations.
The Spokesman said that the UN position is that currently they are anticipating the registering of the positions of the Greek Cypriot side and the Greek Cypriot side's position is that the general concerns are already tabled and that it would not serve any purpose at this stage to submit the negotiating positions.
He added that discussions are already underway at the National Council, the advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus problem, but did not say when it would next convene.
The Cypriot Spokesman said ''we want to persuade the Secretary-General that efforts must continue to create the framework and procedures that would lead to the resumption of the deliberations,'' noting there is no disagreement with the UN.
Commenting on State Department Deputy Spokesman Adam Ereli's statement that whatever is decided on the Annan Plan ''needs to be done in a manner that is acceptable to majorities on both sides of the island,'' Chrysostomides said this was not a new US position.
Asked if it is realistic to anticipate an agreement between the two sides on changes to the Annan Plan, Chrysostomides said ''our pursuit is to reach an agreed solution'' with the Turkish Cypriots, bearing in mind the international aspects of the Cyprus problem, which need to be examined with Turkey.
The Spokesman also said that on Monday the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Special Representative on Cyprus, Leonid Abramov, will visit the island and will have contacts with the government of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot community. He will also visit Athens and Ankara.
Finally, Chrysostomides confirmed that President Papadopoulos would participate in the European Council meeting next week in Brussels.