Papadopoulos: Cyprus to make representations to Britain
Nicosia, Oct 13 (CNA) ---- The government of Cyprus will make all necessary representations regarding British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw's statements at the House of Commons, which Nicosia considers wrong and misleading, President of the Republic of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos has said.
He also said that if a UN-proposed solution plan for a comprehensive solution (the Annan plan) is brought back (in its current version), it would be rejected by the Greek Cypriots again ''by a larger majority this time'' than the 76 per cent of last year.
Invited to comment on Straw's statements at the House of Commons regarding Cyprus, the Cypriot President noted that they constitute a ''repetition of statements made in the past'' and added: ''I deem that their basis is wrong and misleading. The necessary representations will be made, at least so that he does not distort facts''.
Asked on the overall stance of Britain towards Cyprus, he said that the British ''promote their own interests, like any other country'', adding ''it seems that they prefer to have better relations with Turkey, perhaps because they have bigger interests there''.
British Foreign Minster had said that ''the recognition of Cyprus will follow a peace process - everyone knows that that is the case. They also know - the Turks know this - that a country cannot achieve membership of the EU if it does not recognise another country sitting at the table.''
''The history of the conflict on the island of Cyprus is very complicated. We need each side to recognise the other with dignity and within a unified single Government. I have already made it clear that in the European Union it would not be possible for us to operate if members did not recognise, de jure, the states around the table. That does not mean, however, that the obligations to achieve that position rest entirely on Turkey or on the Turkish Cypriot community. They rest equally on Turkey, the Turkish Cypriot community and the Government of Cyprus, as well as on the international community. That is made absolutely clear in a number of Security Council resolutions, including resolution 1250,'' Straw added.
He was answering a question at the House of Commons on whether the recognition of Cyprus by Turkey as well as the withdrawal of the Turkish armed forces from the island are an indispensable requirement for Turkey's accession to the EU.
Straw said that he had already spoken, since the decision on 3 October, to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan about the circumstances in which he would deem it appropriate to restart his good offices mission in respect of Cyprus under Security Council resolution 1250.
Invited to comment on information that Britain is making efforts to bring the Annan plan back to the negotiating table, President Papadopoulos said ''I don’t believe that there are many people who think that it is possible for the plan to be brought back. If this is the case, then it will be rejected again, and this time with a bigger majority''.
He added though that the government of Cyprus wishes to see an intensification of the efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem, provided that these efforts lead to the right direction.
«We too wish the intensification of the initiative, provided that it is well prepared and aims at the right direction'', he added.
Invited to comment on Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat's statements that Turkey would not open its ports and airports for the Republic of Cyprus, unless the so-called embargo against Turkish Cypriots is lifted, President Papadopoulos clarified that Turkey has the obligation to fully implement the Customs Union Protocol it already signed in July, and extend it to all member states, including the Republic of Cyprus.
«This is an obligation that Turkey has towards the EU and Cyprus. It is the right of every sovereign country to determine which are its legal ports or airports, or entrance and exit points'', he said.