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Cyprus President says parties interested in a Cyprus settlement should clarify stance
2005-06-06 14:15:39

Larnaca, Jun 5 - Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos called on all those who have been declaring they are interested in a Cyprus settlement and the reunification of the island to indicate ''whether they mean a solution and reunification or if what they aimed at was to bring back the solution plan'' proposed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan with a few "decorative changes."

The Annan Plan had been rejected by the overwhelming majority of the Greek Cypriot community in April last year, because it was considered to be both unfair and unviable.

The President also said the aim of those supporting the lifting of the ''isolation'' of the Turkish Cypriots was political and noted that what they want is to upgrade the status of the occupied areas to the level of an almost legal entity, apart from the diplomatic recognition that they cannot offer them.

He was speaking at Larnaca Airport on his return from Luxembourg.

Commenting on remarks by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he wanted a discussion of the Annan plan at the UN Security Council and would ask US President George Bush to help in this direction, President Papadopoulos said:

''This is an old position of Turkey and we will tackle it if any intention to discuss the Cyprus problem on the basis of the Annan plan emerges,'' noting that ''we believe nothing like that will happen.''

Referring to the ''isolation'' of Turkish Cypriots, the President said ''first of all we question whether there is an economic isolation.''

''If there is anything like that, then it is firstly the result of the Turkish invasion and occupation and secondly it is self-imposed, because the authorities of the occupied areas do not allow trade from the government-controlled areas to the occupied areas, while the occupied areas are pursuing the use of a port, which the Republic of Cyprus has declared illegal,'' he added.

He also noted that ''the aim of those supporting this policy is to upgrade the status of the occupied areas to the level of an almost separate legal entity, apart from the diplomatic recognition, which they cannot offer them,'' adding that ''if they could, they probably would.''

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

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