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Cyprus President: nothing new in Turkish proposal on Cyprus
2006-01-24 16:39:50

Larnaca, Jan 24 (CNA) – Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said he did not see anything new in the Turkish proposal on Cyprus handed over to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and announced today during a press conference by Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.

Speaking at Larnaca airport upon his arrival from Russia, Papadopoulos expressed the belief that this is an effort by Turkey to avoid her obligations towards Cyprus and the EU, according to her negotiating framework.

He added that this is not the first time that Turkey in order to fulfill her obligations asks for exchanges to do what she is obliged to do.

He said that “we will surely look into all those included in the statement but I do not think they consist any new position or can be considered as an initiative or as a new beginning.”

"I don’t see anything new. This is the proposal made by Gul on May 30, 2004, which I believe does not consist anything else but an effort by Turkey to avoid its obligations towards Cyprus and the EU, according to its negotiating framework”, Papadopoulos said.

Invited to comment on the visit of British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to the region and a statement by UN Secretary General’s spokesman on it, Papadopoulos said “we had no information beforehand by Britain or by the UN that Straw’s visit meant the assigning of any role to him by the UN.”

He said that if Straw’s visit can be considered an extension of the Secretary General’s efforts “those who pursue to have such a role must have the proof of objectivity and be able to secure the trust of both sides, that they will be good mediators, promoting the interests of the sides and not their own interests or other interests related to the EU.”

Invited to say if the British or Straw have this proof of objectivity, Papadopoulos said it was not right for him to make assessments.

He noted however that despite the fact that that despite the fact that the Cyprus government had expressed its concern, because the visit assaults the feelings and sensitivities of Cyprus Hellenism, these suggestions were not heard.

He also said that even when consultations were under way to reach a mutually accepted solution, the British announced the visit “as a fait accompli and our own reservations.”

The Cyprus government objected to Straw's meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Tatat at the so-called presidential palace in Turkish occupied Cyprus. Britain insisted on the location of the meeting, saying it is the office of the leader of the T/C community. After that President Papadopoulos decided not to receive Straw during his visit to Cyprus.

As regards his visit to Russia, Papadopoulos said he was very happy with the results of his meeting there.

He said that for once again Russia’s great interest in developments on the Cyprus issue was confirmed as well as Russia’s position of principles on Cyprus.

He noted that that it was confirmed that Russia’s position and support has not and will not change.

Invited to say if the goal of Russia’s more active engagement to the Cyprus question has been agreed, Papadopoulos said that “Russia always showed interest in all developments to international fora as well as in bilateral relations.”

“I had asked President Putin to continue this great interest and I have the assurance that in any new initiative Secretary General Russia agrees with us that all five Permanent Members of the Security Russia, and certainly Cyprus, must actively be involved.”

“And I think this is a more advanced position,” he added.

Papadopoulos said that his discussions in Russia focused on bilateral issues and that he agreed with the Russian President Vladimir Putin the reenactment of the intergovernmental committee for the promotion of commercial and bilateral relations.

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