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Cypriot President's aim a viable settlement
2005-07-20 15:09:38

Nicosia, Jul 20 (CNA) - Cypriot Minister of Finance Iacovos Keravnos affirmed today that the immovable aim of President Tassos Papadopoulos and his government is the solution of the Cyprus problem, with a functional and viable settlement that will secure the rights of all citizens, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, and will terminate the occupation and division of the island.

Speaking at the memorial service for those who lost their lives during the Turkish invasion, Keravnos said ''we have made it clear in every direction that we are ready and avidly wish for the resumption of the dialogue under UN auspices.''

The memorial service was held at Faneromeni church in Nicosia in the presence of President Tassos Papadopoulos. The service was preceded by an invocation for the liberation of the island from the Turkish army occupying its northern third since the 1974 invasion, the return of the refugees to their homes and the ascertainment of the fate of missing persons.

In his speech, Keravnos said a solution to the Cyprus problem ''must emerge from an open dialogue, a sincere attitude of conciliation and genuine negotiations,'' adding that ''with these preconditions and united in a strong home front we can give practical essence to the desire and aim of a solution.''

''Slowly but surely our positions are becoming accepted by the international community and we expect that the necessary pressure will be exerted on Turkey, in the context of its EU course, to bend its intransigent policy and come to the negotiating table with a truly constructive attitude,'' he said.

He added that ''at the same time that Turkey is knocking on Europe's door, it refuses to recognise the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member state, and at the same time continues to militarily occupy a part of the EU itself without showing the slightest intention to change its behaviour.''

The Minister reaffirmed that ''we will continue to insist and stress in all directions that the time is ripe for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem on the basis of UN resolutions, high level agreements, international law and the fundamental principles of the EU regarding human rights.''

Referring to the solution plan proposed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, which was rejected last year by the overwhelming majority of the Greek Cypriot community, Keravnos pointed out that ''it was not possible for our side to accept a plan that first of all did not lead to a functional and viable solution, violated human rights, legitimised the settlers, was in total contradiction to the fundamental principles regulating the relations of European citizens and left a marginal outlet from our dependence on the will of Turkey to respect the timeframes and provisions of the plan.''

''Our side made painful concessions, thus showing its great and sincere will for a solution and the reunification of our homeland,'' he said, adding that the responsibility of the international community is heavy, since ''having in mind their own interests, they brought before our people a plan that had nothing to do with a functional and viable settlement, which would secure human rights and the UN and EU principles.''

He assured that President Papadopoulos and the political leadership of the island were working to reverse the consequences of the invasion and occupation, and reunite the island.

''Our accession to the EU has created a new political environment. There are now new conditions for a dialogue for a settlement of the Cyprus settlement. The acquis communautaire, the European law and European principles can and must help towards achieving the settlement we wish,'' he concluded.

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