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GUE/NGL ''Study Days'' conference opens in Cyprus
2005-06-01 14:57:06

Limassol, Jun 1 (CNA) -- A European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) ''Study Days'' conference opened here today with the Cyprus question, EU-Turkey relations, the G8, the Middle East and the EU on its agenda.

Addressing the opening ceremony Cyprus House of Representatives President and left-wing party AKEL General Secretary Demetris Christofias briefed participants on the current situation regarding the Cyprus question and the reasons that led Greek Cypriots to reject in April 2004 the UN Secretary General's plan for a Cyprus settlement.

Christofias said that if someone was to judge the Annan plan on the basis of international law and the UN resolutions, this plan should not be discussed.

''But we took into consideration that, unfortunately, balances are different now in the world than those in the framework of which the UN resolutions and the high-level agreements between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots were approved,'' he said.

The Cypriot official noted that ''we took into consideration that this plan has unfortunately the stamp of the new state of affairs and of course we would come up to a painful compromise, which should prevent for us the tight embrace of Cyprus by Turkey and the other guarantor powers.''

He stressed that a solution of a bizonal, bicommunal federation consists an important concession by the Greek Cypriot side.

Christofias noted that the Turkish Cypriots' isolation is due to the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation which forcibly uprooted 200.000 Greek Cypriots (one third of the island's population) from their homes and properties and forced 45.000 Turkish Cypriots to move to the areas occupied by Turkish troops.

The House President sent the message that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots want through a painful but functional compromise to create the conditions for a really fraternal coexistence on their island.

President of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left Group at the European Parliament Francis Wurtz referred to the importance of the ''no'' vote of the French people to the European Constitutional Treaty, noting that citizens in line with the Left opposed to the new liberal system, asking for a social Europe.

Representative of the Freedom and Solidarity Party of Turkey (ODP) Kiranc Eliacik said the Cyprus problem should not be linked with Turkey's course towards the EU, since the Cyprus problem must be solved either Turkey joins the EU or not.

He said that new ways of negotiations should be found, adding that his party wants a solution according to which no foreign troops will remain on Cyprus, either Greek or Turkish, or the British Bases.

Representative of the Kurdish party DEHAP Fayik Yagizay said that the Cyprus problem and the Kurdish issue are the two issues that will determine Turkey's accession to the EU.

''If Turkey wants to join the EU she must show good will for a solution to the Cyprus problem, taking into account the Cyprus people' will,'' he noted.

He stressed that extended reforms need to take place in Turkey, especially as regards the Kurdish issue, without the solution of which Turkey should not join the EU.

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