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Cypriot President: we are ready for talks any time
2006-02-27 16:51:05

Larnaca, Feb 27 (CNA) - Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos has said that the Greek Cypriot side is ready to start at any time negotiations for a Cyprus settlement, whenever the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan believes that sufficient preparation has taken place for the dialogue to resume.

He also said that during his meeting with Annan on Tuesday he will ask the Secretary General to appoint a special representative and assign him the task of preparing the ground for the talks, stressing at the same time that it would be wrong to expect that the Paris meeting will set a date for the resumption of the talks.

Speaking on departure at Larnaca airport, he said that Kofi Annan had told him that the meeting will review and take stock of the situation in Cyprus and discuss ways of moving forward the process.

Asked if the objective is to have talks in 2006, the President said: “there are no deadlines, whenever the Secretary General decides that the ground has been sufficiently prepared, talks can start. We are ready any time. No one must expect that Tuesday's meeting will set a date for the start of talks.”

On the possibility that Turkey's most recent proposals on Cyprus might be brought up at the meeting, the President said that Ankara must have submitted its so-called action plan to the Secretary General, noting that the Greek Cypriot side has rejected them as a repetition of previously presented ideas.

“Turkey's proposals are nothing more than an effort by Ankara to get something in exchange for meeting its obligations towards the EU,” he said.

Asked if he would raise with Annan the proposal to open the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta, Papadopoulos said that the proposal was made in August 2004 and was then submitted in detail in May 2005 in combination with the need to stop the illegal exploitation of Greek Cypriot properties and to improve the Regulation of the Green Line governing trade.

“It is one of our long standing demands”, said Papadopoulos, noting that while the essence of the Cyprus issue remains our main goal, other related issues must not be sidelined.

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