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Talks on EU regulations end without result
2005-06-16 10:03:40

by Nicos Bellos

Brussels, Jun 16 (CNA) -- Consultations between the Cyprus government, the Luxembourg Presidency of the EU, the Commission and representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community concerning the two EU regulations for the Turkish Cypriots ended in Brussels last night without result.

During yesterday’s second meeting this week, which aimed at finding a mutually acceptable agreement to adopt the two regulations, the financial regulation worth 259 million euros for the Turkish Cypriots and the regulation for EU direct trade with the areas of Cyprus under Turkish occupation, no progress was achieved since Turkish Cypriots refused to give anything in exchange.

The Director of the Cypriot President’s Diplomatic Office Tasos Tzionis represented Cyprus while the Turkish Cypriot side was represented by Rasit Pertev, an aide of Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.

The issues that were examined included the financial regulation, the regulation for direct trade, a moratorium on the exploitation of properties belonging to Greek Cypriots in the Turkish occupied north and the issue of Famagusta. The Greek Cypriot side also raised the issue of lifting all embargoes against Cyprus flagged ships in Turkish ports and Cypriot aircraft flying over Turkey.

On the financial regulation, the Greek Cypriot side reiterated its willingness to see the 259 million euros handed to the Turkish Cypriots. However the Turkish Cypriot side insisted the regulation came together with the regulation for direct trade.

Regarding the regulation for direct trade, the Turkish Cypriot side had asked for all ports to open without restrictions while the Greek Cypriot side repeated the proposal of President Tassos Papadopoulos for the joint operation of the Famagusta port and the opening of the fenced-off town of Famagusta under UN administration, according to UN resolutions. The fenced off area has been a ghost town since the 1974 invasion and occupation of the island's northern third.

However Turkish Cypriots insisted on the opening of all ports while for the fenced off area of Famagusta they talked about cleaning up the town and referred the discussion to the future without giving a specific deadline.

The Turkish Cypriots also appeared negative on the property issue since they did not want to commit to a moratorium.

Community sources stressed that based on these developments, no new meeting is scheduled and what is believed is that the Luxembourg presidency will inform EU member states on the initiative during the next meeting of the Permanent Representatives.

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