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Cypriot President to ask Annan to appoint representative
2006-02-21 15:09:35

Nicosia, Feb 19 (CNA) – Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said here Sunday that during his meeting with the UN Secretary-General later this month, he will ask Kofi Annan to appoint the soonest possible, a representative who will prepare the ground for a resumption of negotiations for a Cyprus settlement.

Addressing an extraordinary meeting in the capital of the Democratic Party where the party’s candidates for the May 21 Parliamentary elections were presented, Papadopoulos, who also chairs DEKO assured that during his meeting with Annan in Paris on 28 February, “we will not bring back yesterday, we will not bring back a plan (the Annan Plan) which was rejected by the people of Cyprus”.

The Cypriot president said that he will reiterate “our firm position. We want the SG to become active, we want him to appoint, the soonest, his representative who will soundly prepare the ground for the resumption of the negotiations”.

In his speech before party members, the President of the Republic referred to the period after the rejection of the Annan Plan by the Greek Cypriots in April 2004, noting that the “climate has now changed and all the more people realize that a solution cannot be found if the just concerns of Cypriot Hellenism are not addressed”.

President Papadopoulos said that after nine months, “we managed to persuade that our three preconditions for a resumption of the talks, are right: No to mediation, no to tight timeframes and an agreed solution to be put before the people in a referendum”.

The talks, he added, should have their own timeframe which will be set out by the progress of the negotiations and not to serve other parties’ interests that do not concern the people of Cyprus.

“We want a solution that is based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation because there is no other solution for Cyprus”, President Papadopoulos said, adding that the contents is important because this time, it will not be formulated by solely two permanent members of the Security Council “and our policy must become clear”.

“We do not anticipate the involvement of Russia, China or France. What we have asked and are still asking is that efforts for a solution to the Cyprus problem should not be controlled by solely two of the five permanent members of the SC”, said Papadopoulos, noting the remaining three countries “are also demanding this…”

Referring to the Turkish proposals on Cyprus recently put forward by Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, President Papadopoulos described them as a repetition of what the former had asked last May, adding a new condition was introduced, that for Turkey to fulfill its obligations against the EU, it wants in return from the Cypriot government, the lifting of the so called economic embargo against the Turkish Cypriots, that was imposed by the Turkish occupying forces on the island.

President Papadopoulos also talked about some “shallow and bitter statements by English officials that if Cyprus had applied now for EU membership it would be impossible to enter the EU. We reverse this and say that if his country had applied for membership nowadays, many would have had reservations”.

In statements at Larnaca airport before departing for Austria this afternoon where he will pay a four-day working visit, President Papadopoulos also said he will discuss with the Austrian presidency of the EU matters on the presidency’s agenda, including Turkey complying with its obligations against the EU, as well as the issue of regulations for Turkish Cypriots.

On the issue of Cyprus vetoing Turkey’s EU accession course, President Papadopoulos also said there is nothing new on this, adding that “the right to veto is a right that every (EU) member has and when and if it will be used is a political decision which will be taken at the right moment, if necessary. We hope we will not need to do that”, he added.

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