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Greek Foreign Minister outlines three axes for Cyprus solution
2006-02-22 14:07:54

By Christa Nicolaou

Athens, Feb 22 (CNA) - Greek newly-appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs Dora Bakoyianni said a new effort on Cyprus should be based on three axes, namely the acquis communautaire, the UN resolutions and the Annan Plan.

Bakoyianni was speaking after meeting her Cypriot counterpart George Iacovou in the Greek capital. Iacovou said he was certain the two will have an excellent cooperation.

The Greek Minister said cooperation between Athens and Nicosia ''is of fundamental significance so that the common effort will have a favourable outcome in the critical issue which concerns us all throughout these years.''

''Athens and Nicosia are pursuing a just solution, viable and functional on the basis of the decisions and resolutions of the UN, respecting the EU values and such solution should undoubtedly be to the benefit of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots,'' Bakoyianni noted.

She added that ''it is understood that for a viable and functional solution to result, it should be the product of an agreement and subsequently acceptable by both communities, an agreed solution that will be put to a referendum.''

The Greek Minister said that within this framework ''we support the resumption of a well-prepared negotiating procedure at the UN, without timeframes or mediation and one which will provide the guarantees for a successful outcome of the effort.''

She noted that everyone ''should deprecate the possibility of a failure,'' adding that the procedure for a solution through the UN should not be associated or confused with the obligations undertaken by Turkey towards the EU and all EU member states as a candidate state.

Bakoyianni said she is looking forward to Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos' visit to Athens on 8 March.

Iacovou said it was his wish to meet the soonest with Bakoyianni and noted there was a symbolism in him being the first Minister of Foreign Affairs Bakoyianni met after the assumption of her duties.

''Our cooperation will be based on the common policy set out over the years by the two governments by the President of the Republic of Cyprus and the Greek Prime Minister,'' Iacovou said. He pointed out that undoubtedly the two will continue their close cooperation.

''We are making many efforts to find a solution on issues concerning Cyprus in the EU, for instance the two regulations for Turkish Cypriots,'' he said.

Asked if the Annan Plan has been abandoned as the basis of negotiations, Bakoyianni said ''the Annan Plan, as it was presented to the people of Cyprus, was not approved.''

''That is history,'' she said and noted that ''a new effort should be based on three axes, the acquis communautaire, the UN resolutions and the Annan Plan.''

''With these new elements, there should be a new initiative which Cyprus is expecting from the UN Secretary General, but this initiative should lead to a substantially well-prepared negotiation, without tight timeframes, so that we can have success,'' she said.

Asked if during the Austrian Presidency of the EU, an issue regarding Turkey's conformity with the obligations it has undertaken towards the EU will be examined, Bakoyianni reminded statements made yesterday by President of the European Council, Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel, that Turkey must start implementing its commitments. ''We must wait and see how things will develop,'' she added.

On this point, Iacovou said that Turkey has a date in 2006, when it will have to account for why it has not met its obligations on the three documents, the negotiating framework, the adjustment protocol and the Council's counter-declaration on Turkey's declaration.

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