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Spokesman rejects Congressman Whitfield's statements
2005-06-02 13:55:28

Nicosia, June 2 -- Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides has rejected accusations US Congressman Edward Whitfield (R-KY) made during his recent visit to the occupied part of Cyprus through an illegal airport.

Chrysostomides said on Wednesday: "Mr Whitfield said that the impression he got is that President Papadopoulos wants to get rid of as many settlers as possible, so that he can rule the whole of Cyprus. He is right on the fact that we believe that the largest number of settlers constitutes a foreign body, constitutes a violation of the demographic structure of Cyprusí population, constitutes a crime of war and that their withdrawal is justified on the basis of international law. President Papadopoulos does not want to rule the whole of Cyprus by himself."

He added: "On the contrary, President Papadopoulos has reiterated, many times, that he is committed to finding a solution of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, which will function in a democratic way for the benefit of all the citizens, the legal inhabitants of Cyprus. On the other hand, however, the pursued solution must be a solution with our compatriots, the Turkish Cypriots, and not a federal solution with the settlers, who constitute the majority of the population in the occupied areas of Cyprus."

Chrysostomides also rejected Whitfield's argument that President Papadopoulos does not have an incentive to reunify the country. "I believe there is here an intended misconception or even an attempt for misinterpretation because the other US Congressmen, who also visited the Cyprus, were impressed and filled with enthusiasm by President Papadopoulosí sincerity in pursuing a solution to the Cyprus problem. It appears, therefore, that Mr Whitfield was told different things when he was in the occupied areas of Cyprus," he said.

On the Congressman's accusation that President Papadopoulos does not allow the free movement of goods in and outside of Cyprus, Chrysostomides said: "The Government of the Republic of Cyprus wants the full implementation of the Green Line Regulation, which has been agreed with the EU and which contains provisions on the free movement of persons and the free movement of goods; if the Turkish Cypriot leadership wanted the full implementation of the Green Line Regulation, this would constitute the best way out for trade and economic relations between the two communities and of course for Turkish Cypriot exports abroad. It seems that Mr Whitfield has not been correctly informed on this either."

"Finally, the Congressman said that our side does not allow the release of the EUís 259 million euros to the Turkish Cypriot community. We categorically reject this also because for a long time now, in fact for many months, the Cyprus Government has agreed to the release of these funds to the Turkish Cypriot community; the obstacle is the Turkish Cypriot side, as well as others who support it in the European Union by linking this Regulation with the Regulation on direct trade," Chrysostomides concluded.

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