AKEL and RTK agree to have intensive talks
Nicosia, Jul 5 (CNA) -- Greek Cypriot left wing party AKEL and Turkish Cypriot Republican Turkish Party (RTK) have said that intensive talks between the parties must go on with a view to reach common resultants on the Cyprus question and bridge the gap of views as regards the Annan plan.
Delegations of the two parties under AKEL General Secretary Demetris Christofias and RTK President Ferdi Sabit Soyer met today at AKEL offices for almost three hours.
Speaking to the press after the meeting, Christofias said AKEL is in favour of a Cyprus settlement the soonest possible, on the basis of a bizonal, bicommunal federation.
Soyer noted the need to reach a common accepted solution the soonest possible, noting that nothing can replace a settlement.
He said that after the ''no'' the Greek Cypriot side said to the Annan plan, it is everyone's duty to continue the negotiations in order to revert it to ''yes''.
Christofias said they had a very friendly conversation and exchanged views on the current situation and their common action in the future.
He expressed his satisfaction over the final result of the meeting, noting that ''it is our common decision to continue discussions intensively on the level of delegation of the parties, reviewing the various aspects of the Annan plan on which there are different views.''
''We've come to the conclusion that the Annan plan will consist the basis for the further discussion on the level of parties and we believe and on the level of the leaders of the communities for the settlement of the Cyprus problem,'' he added.
He said that any changes to the Annan plan must take place ''in the framework of bicommunal dialogue, under the UN aegis.''
Christofias assured that ''both parties will work so that such a dialogue will take place the soonest possible because they believe that we must join our powers and our efforts for a settlement the soonest possible.''
''We ascertain the passing of time consolidates the status quo and we are against this consolidation. Both parties are also against what is called 'Taiwanisation','' he said and added that ''both parties reaffirm their engagement to a bizonal, bicommunal federation.''
Christofias said that ''it is explicit that there are differences as regards the opinions, approaches and assessments on the Annan plan … so we have co-decided to continue and intensify meeting between the two parties to discuss these different views on the various aspects of the Annan plan.''
He also noted that both parties are against ''euro-division'' and noted that this has been the position that AKEL had first outlined for many years.
Speaking through an interpreter Soyer referred to the recent meeting between the Prime Ministers of Greece and Turkey Costas Karamanlis and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, noting that ''they made a severe step for the further cooperation between the two countries.''
He said AKEL and RTK have as a fundamental goal ''to reach a common accepted solution for our homeland the soonest possible.''
''By this way we want the climate which poisons the relations of Greek and Turkey due to the Cyprus problem to stop existing. There must be no euro-division in Cyprus. Unification in Cyprus must take place on the basis of political equality. This development will also influence very positively Turkey' european course and by this way a peace climate will be formed in Europe among the people of Greece, Turkey and Cyprus,'' he said.
Referring to the rejection of the Annan plan by the Greek Cypriot community, Soyer said that ''it is our duty now to conduct talks, by which we will divert the 'no' of the Greek Cypriot community to a 'yes','' adding that ''by doing this we must not disturb the 'yes' of the Turkish Cypriot community.''
Soyer noted the need the two parties to begin a constructive discussion, on the elements of the Annan plan.
''We are against Tawanisation'' he said, adding that ''nothing can substitute the solution, but until this is reached the Turkish Cypriots must open out to the world and the solution must be financially prepared.''