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Cypriot President: Rehn not conveying any Famagusta proposal
2005-05-09 14:31:54

Larnaca, May 8 (CNA) – Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos rejected reports that during his visit to Cyprus next week, Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn will convey a proposal on Famagusta.

Speaking to reporters before departing to Moscow to attend celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Europe, President Papadopoulos noted that this was not the purpose of Rehn’s visit to Cyprus

The Cypriot President also said that during US Deputy Assistant Secretary Laura Kennedy’s visit to Cyprus last week, they only discussed the Cyprus problem.

He said that Kennedy never mentioned that the US would do everything possible to help lift the so called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.

“Scenarios concerning the resumption of an initiative are merely press reports which have nothing to do with reality”, he added.

On Rehn’s visit, President Papadopoulos said the EU commissioner is coming to the island following the government’s suggestion, to “see the situation for himself”.

During Rehn’s visit, they will examine the Republic’s relations with the EU and all issues concerning the Cyprus problem.

Asked if the Commissioner will convey any proposal on Famagusta which the government does not consider satisfactory, President Papadopoulos said Rehn is not conveying any proposal, “nor this is the purpose of his visit”.

The President had proposed to the EU the return of the occupied town of Famagusta to government control combined with the reopening and operation of the town's port, under EU supervision to help build trust between the two communities.

President Papadopoulos also said the EU is made up of rules and regulations and the acquis communautaire and the Republic of Cyprus insists on their implementation.

He also wondered who is preventing the implementation of the EU financial regulation worth 259 million euros for the Turkish Cypriots when the Republic of Cyprus is proposing its immediate implementation something which Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat objects to.

The President said that the EU has decided to economically strengthen the Turkish Cypriots and develop commercial relations with them so that they will be able to get out of the so-called economic isolation they are in.

However he said that for this to happen there are two fundamental prerequisites that need to be met, that the measures provide for the island’s reunification and harmonisation of the two communities’ economies.

These two conditions, the President added, fully safeguard trade with Turkish Cypriots both with the government controlled areas of the Republic and throughout the world.

On his visit to Moscow, President Papadopoulos said apart from honouring those who fell during WWII, “the Russian people will also be honoured for their fight against fascism and nazism”.

He added that “we should pay tribute and owe gratitude to all those who sacrificed their lives” during WWII as well as those who are survivors, defending defend freedom and the principles of democracy.

The President returns home on Tuesday.

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