Cyprus House Speaker: historic mistake to abandon effort for solution
Athens, Apr 19 (CNA) -- President of the Cyprus House of Representatives Demetris Christofias stressed here today that it would be a historic error to abandon efforts for a political settlement of the question of Cyprus, adding that this is a challenge the international community is invited to face successfully.
In his address to the 9th annual conference of the Economist, he said that the contents of a solution must remove the causes that have led to the destruction of the island and pointed out that the solution must be agreed upon and not imposed.
Christofias said that certain factors that have emerged in the recent past could help break the current impasse, including Cyprus' accession to the European Union, Turkey's position that no solution is not a solution, Ankara's European aspirations and efforts to normalise of relations between Greece and Turkey.
''It would be a historic mistake to abandon the efforts for a solution to the problem. Partition in Cyprus is not a solution because it does not solve, on the contrary it maintains and deepens all those problems which constitute a grave threat for peace and stability in the region and are a source of problems for the internal cohesion and functionality of the EU itself,'' he said.
The House President called on the international community to meet successfully the question of Cyprus, which he described as ''one of the great challenges'' the UN and the EU have to tackle.
''A solution must be an agreed solution and not a given one, it must exclude the possibility of intervention by third parties in the internal affairs of Cyprus, it must give emphasis to the uniting and not the dividing elements and respect human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people,'' he pointed out.
He expressed hope for a solution as soon as possible and said the Greek Cypriot side is ready to respond to a new UN initiative towards this goal, stressing that with good will and substantive negotiations a UN-proposed solution plan can be amended to render it acceptable to the Greek Cypriots.
A reunited, prosperous and peaceful Cyprus, he concluded, could become a bridge to unite people in peace, cooperation and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.