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Cyprus President: Gambari's letter confirmation of UN positions
2005-12-13 15:24:50

Nicosia, Dec 13 (CNA) – Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos believes that a reply letter by Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim A. Gambari to a joint letter by the United Democrats Honourary President and the leader of the Republican Turkish Party, is a confirmation of Kofi Annan’s positions on Cyprus.

In their letter, George Vassiliou and Ferdi Sabit Soyer invited the Secretary-General to renew his efforts towards the resumption of a process in search of a solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of his proposal.

In his reply dated 24 October, Gambari recalled that the SG has on several occasions, “stressed the obligations of the parties themselves and the importance for both sides to focus on their overriding common interest, namely to agree on revisions so that the UN plan could command majority support not only in their community, but in the other too”.

Concluding, Gambari said he hoped that “your joint letter may be a step in that direction”.

In his statements, President Papadopoulos said “the reply given is a confirmation of the positions that I have ascertained so far”.

Noting he was not aware of the letter, President Papadopoulos said “I am sure, though, without knowing, that based on what I had discussed with the SG that this is his position”.

"However, this is another indication that no one can just undertake an initiative for a Cyprus settlement, especially at the SG’s level”, Papadopoulos added.

To a remark that former President Vassiliou insists that contacts should take place between the two communities on a party leaders’ level, President Papadopoulos replied that Vassiliou has his own views.

“I am telling you that these initiatives yield the results we have just seen with this letter”, the Cypriot President concluded.

Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said there are serious chances to solve the Cyprus problem within 2006 if there is the necessary political will, mainly on the part of the occupation force.

Commenting on Gambari’s letter, Chrysostomides said the most formal document regarding the UN position is that of Gambari’s predecessor Sir Kieran Prendergast.

“This letter does not say anything different from that of Prendergast’s report and what we must note is the indication by the UN to find a solution that can be accepted by both communities”, the Government Spokesman said.

He added that what is expected from the SG “is the start of a new procedure or an invitation to start a new procedure”, noting that “any new procedure, new negotiation should surely be held under the SG’s auspices and within the framework of his mission of good offices”.

In a press conference earlier today where he gave Gambari’s letter to the press, Vassiliou said that as long as the Greek Cypriot side does not have any contact with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, and without preparation aiming at the resumption of the talks, “we are leading Cyprus with mathematical accuracy, to division under the worst possible conditions”.

He also criticized the Greek Cypriot side for not exhibiting great willingness to compromise for a solution and described the work by the occupation regime at Ledra Street in Nicosia as “unnecessary provocation”.

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