Spokesman says new UN initiative after parliamentary elections
Limassol, Jan 27 (CNA) - Government Spokesman George Lillikas said today that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan sent letters to President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in December, expressing his intention to become active in the Cyprus problem after the parliamentary elections in the government-controlled areas of the island, scheduled for May.
Lillikas said ''this letter had been given to the President of the Republic towards the end of December by the Secretary General's representative, Mr. Moller, and refers to the Secretary General's intention to appoint an envoy after the parliamentary elections for discussions between the two parties in order to prepare the ground for a new initiative.''
''We cannot but welcome this effort of the Secretary General. It is something the President of the Republic himself has repeatedly requested from the Secretary General, that is to not be disappointed by Turkey's and Mr. Talat's insistence to implement the Annan plan as it is and that the Secretary General steps up his efforts to create the ground, the political environment, so that the conditions are created for a fruitful new dialogue process,'' he added.
Referring to the Turkish proposals regarding the Cyprus problem, the Spokesman reiterated that ''they are proposals that cannot be an object for discussion, and we do not accept the combination of procedures to solve the Cyprus problem within the UN with the course and obligations of Turkey towards the EU and the Republic of Cyprus.''
He added that no positive approach towards or discussion of the Turkish proposals was expected, and that ''this is the message we are already receiving from large countries.''
''Our effort is to avoid a hasty new process of negotiations, which would fail in no time, because that would be a catastrophe for Cyprus. That is why we are insisting on properly preparing the ground, creating the necessary conditions so that when a new process begins there would truly be realistic prospects to lead this process to an agreed solution and this is what we expect the UN Secretary General to do,'' Lillikas noted.
Asked about the electricity the government is providing the Turkish occupied areas with, after a power failure there, Lillikas expressed hope that any problems would be overcome.
''It is a fact that the problems with the Turkish Cypriots are huge,'' Lillikas said, adding that ''the political will on our side exists to help our Turkish Cypriot compatriots overcome these problems.''
Referring to Cypriot tennis player Markos ?aghdatis, who will be competing in the Australian Open on Sunday, the Spokesman expressed hope that ''on Sunday he will be the winner of the tournament.''
“Baghdatis has made us all proud, he is a model of militancy and moral for the young generation of Cyprus and I think Cypriot Hellenism showed this appreciation and love with the spontaneous celebrations,'' he concluded.