Casini pledges to continue supporting Cyprus
by Maria Fili
Rome, Feb 20 (CNA) –Pierferdinando Casini, President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies assured Cypriot Speaker Demetris Christofias that Italy will stand by Cyprus, irrespective of the results of the 9th April elections in the country.
Speaking after his meeting in the Italian capital with Casini, Christofias, who is on an official visit to Italy, said it was held in a very friendly and cordial atmosphere and that he informed his Italian counterpart on the latest developments on the Cyprus problem.
Christofias said Casini was greatly interested concerning developments on the Cyprus problem and that he informed his Italian counterpart “on our forecasts and desire for negotiations that will be well prepared”.
He told Casini that for a solution to be found there should be dialogue that will be based on the changes which the Greek Cypriot side collectively wants to achieve, adding that Casini appeared supportive and assured that from any post he will have after the Italian elections, “he will be at our side”.
Earlier, the Cypriot Speaker during a working lunch informed ambassadors who are accredited in Cyprus and based in Italy on the developments following the 2004 April referenda on the Annan Plan.
He said the Greek Cypriot side rejected the Annan Plan which in substance did not reunite Cyprus and did not serve the interests of either Greek Cypriots or Turkish Cypriots but instead satisfied Ankara’s demands.
Referring to Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul’s proposal on Cyprus, Christofias said it was not a new proposal but a repetition of a past proposal which was rejected by the Greek Cypriot side and the EU.
He explained it was incomprehensible for Turkey to ask for the Cypriot Republic’s consent in its EU course on the one hand, and on the other not to recognize the Republic.
Christofias said the proposal aims at disorientating from the implementation of Turkey’s commitments towards the EU and the Republic of Cyprus with the lifting of the so called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.
He explained it was not the Republic of Cyprus which isolated the Turkish Cypriots but Turkey which occupies 37 percent of the island’s territory. Christofias informed the ambassadors on the government’s proposals for the return of the fenced off town of Varosha, aiming to serve the interests of Turkish Cypriots since it would have been an important step in cooperation between the two communities.