Cyprus and Greece pledge determination for right solution
Nicosia, Oct 17 – President of Greece Karolos Papoulias said his country supports “the resumption of negotiations within the framework of the UN to achieve a viable and functional solution to the Cyprus issue and is prepared to work to prepare the necessary common ground for a real dialogue to begin.''
He was speaking during an official dinner given in his honour by President of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos, who stressed that a good solution to the Cyprus problem, even if it is difficult, has to be a one-way street, adding that “this is our only choice”.
In his address, Mr. Papoulias also said that he is “convinced that all Greek Cypriots remain committed to a fair and viable solution of the Cyprus issue in the framework of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation - a solution based on the United Nations resolutions, the proposals of the Secretary-General and on the principles on which the EU is founded. This solution should be reached with the agreement of both sides and should fully respect the rights and fundamental freedoms of all the citizens of the Republic of Cyprus”.
Referring to Turkey’s EU orientation, Mr. Papoulias said the course of Turkey to the European Union will be a long process of compliance to specific conditions, rules and requirements of the road map that was determined by the 25 member states of the Union after long consultations.
“Turkey will be negotiating with the 25 at intergovernmental level and throughout this process the judges will be all the members of the European Union. The process of Turkey's course to Europe shapes a new framework for the future of Greek- Turkish relations. Our objective remains the respect for the rules of International Law and the principle of good neighbourly relations”, he underlined.
“Our vision remains a free and united Republic of Cyprus that will defend the rights of all its citizens, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots”, he added.
He also noted that “accession to the European Union has made Cyprus a point of contact and a border between Europe and the Near East”.
Welcoming Mr. Papoulias, the Cyprus President said that it “is a fact that in the struggle the Greek Cypriot people are waging for natural and national survival, Greece was and continues to be our principal, permanent and irreplaceable mainstay”.
President Papadopoulos also said that “it is also a fact that it was mainly and firstly to Greece that we owe the historic achievement of the Republic of Cyprus’ full accession to the European Union”.
Noting the “high level of harmonious cooperation existing between Cyprus and Greece, in all fields without any exception”, the Cypriot President said he was “even happier for the common course and coordination between the two governments in the handling of various issues and developments concerning the Cyprus problem. An early solution of the Cyprus problem is a top priority for Greece and Cyprus,'' he stressed.
Reminding that Mr. Papoulias is visiting Cyprus shortly after the decision of the EU to start accession negotiations with Turkey, President Papadopoulos said Greece and Cyprus, being consistent with their rational position that both the specific and the wider interests of Hellenism are better served by promoting the European prospect of Turkey, than by prohibiting its accession to the European Union, “supported this decision”.
However, “with one important and essential precondition”, he stressed, that “the European prospect of Turkey is directly and decisively linked to Turkey’s fulfilling the criteria, obligations and terms, from which she should not be allowed to escape, as she cannot bypass the commitment to respect and implement the principles and values of the EU”.
President Papadopoulos said that despite the fact that October 3rd did not directly concern specific aspects and specific parameters of the Cyprus problem or linked a solution to the Cyprus problem more directly to Turkey’s accession course, Turkey however undertakes by her signature of the Protocol, the Declaration and the Negotiating Framework, clear commitments vis-a-vis the Republic of Cyprus.
The recognition of the Republic of Cyprus is an important component of Turkey’s accession course, the Cypriot President remarked.
Moreover, the Greek President commented the day after the banquet on an an invitation to Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat to meet US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Washington, a move Nicosia has said promotes divisive tendencies.
Mr. Papoulias stressed that the US stance on Cyprus does not solve problems. "It only creates stalemates," he added.
He also called on the US to contribute to the achievements of goals set by the Cyprus government, which are "fully supported" by Greece.