Parties express different views on handling of Cyprus problem
Nicosia, Feb 17 (CNA) - Political parties expressed different views on the handling of the Cyprus problem during today's meeting of the National Council, Government Spokesman George Lillikas said.
Reading a statement issued after the meeting, he said President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos informed the members of the National Council over the results of his visit to Russia and his discussion with the UN Secretary General. He also informed them on the talks he will have in Austria and also referred to the meeting at the end of February with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
He also said that they discussed the recent statement by Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah Gul and ''it was ascertained that it does not constitute a proposal but an effort by Turkey to avoid the obligations it has undertaken towards the EU.''
The members of the National Council, the statement said, ''expressed their views on the current situation on the Cyprus problem and tabled their views and suggestions'' and that ''on the further handling of the issue (Cyprus), different views were expressed.''
Attorney General Petros Clerides attended the early part of the meeting at the request of a political party, to discuss the case of Turkish Cypriot Arif Mustafa, who regained his property in the government controlled areas of the Republic after a Supreme Court decision.
''The Attorney General informed the National Council on the case's background and analysed its legal aspects and repercussions,'' the statement added.
Invited to comment on a statement by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan that during the Paris meeting the Turkish proposals will be examined, Lillikas said he was not informed on the statement, adding that during his meeting with Annan, President Papadopoulos will see ''what next steps can be taken and how the next handling should take place, in order to formulate the proper conditions allowing through a procedure of dialogue to be led to an agreed solution to the Cyprus problem and the reunification of our island.''
The Spokesman furthermore said that some parties also tabled suggestions in writing while other parties reserved their right to submit them later today.
Referring to his interview with Reuters news agency, Lillikas reiterated that it is the position of the government of Cyprus that the Republic maintains its right to exercise veto within the EU, whenever it deems necessary and serves its national interest.
''Turkey has an obligation to meet its commitments towards the EU and the Republic of Cyprus, and the rest of the EU states maintain the right to exercise their right of veto in the event that Turkey does not respond to its obligations,'' he concluded.