Attorney General: We have lost nothing at the talks
By Maria Myles--
Nicosia, Jul 12 (CNA) -- The Greek Cypriot side has not lost anything during
the past six months of direct talks with the Turkish Cypriot side, Attorney
General and member of the Greek Cypriot negotiating team Alecos Markides
In an interview with CNA days before the resumption of the talks, after a brief break, he said that in the next two or three months the UN will most probably put forward a detailed solution plan for negotiation and pointed out that there is no reason for the Greek Cypriot side to change the positions it has already tabled at the talks.
On the situation in Turkey, he said the collapse of the Ecevit government would not constitute a step backwards in the Cyprus peace effort since the policies of Turkish Premier Bulent Ecevit on Cyprus was "totally intransigent."|
"We continue the search for a settlement on July 16 and may have a two- week break in August. I do not think we have lost anything during these past six months that we have been negotiating," he said replying to questions.
President Glafcos Clerides heads the Greek Cypriot negotiating team, as the representative of the Greek Cypriot community. The leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Rauf Denktash heads his own team. The talks take place under UN auspices and in the presence of the UN Secretary General's Special Adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto, who returns to the island this weekend, having briefed the Security Council on the course of the negotiations.
Asked if the Greek Cypriot side has gained anything at the negotiating table, Markides replied "we are getting nearer to European Union accession" but noted that the question is not whether anything was gained or not.
"We want to solve the Cyprus question in time for EU membership and this is why we are flexible, we negotiate in good faith, we are serious and responsible and if the problem is not resolved, it is obvious who bears the responsibility and therefore accession will not be affected if there is no settlement," he said.
On the approach of the Greek Cypriot side at the new round of talks, beginning Tuesday, Markides said "we have put on the table our positions on all the four core issues (governance, security, territory, property) and we have no reason to change them, since there was no real negotiation in the context of UN resolutions."
On the possibility of seeing the UN submitting proposals to facilitate the negotiating process, he said the Turkish side is reacting very strongly to such an eventuality.
"We believe there is a very real possibility that in the next two or three months, the UN will submit a detailed plan for a solution," which is not likely to be on a take it or leave it basis, he said.
Asked if all four core issues have been discussed at the talks, he replied "we are not satisfied that the issues of territory and properties have been discussed."
He said there were repeated discussions on the powers of the executive and on security concerns but these did not lead anywhere.
The Attorney General said Denktash continues to insist, discuss and promote the creation of two separate states and because of this approach the talks are at a deadlock.
Asked if there is an attempt to give cover to the guilty party at the talks, he stressed that "there is an effort to continue the talks and towards that, in order to serve this objective, many times people do not call a spade a spade for fear of seeing Denktash walking away from the table."
On the prospect of having the talks move to New York, Markides said he had no information about such a move. There will probably be a two-week break in August unless there is momentum in the talks, he added.
Asked about the role of the EU in the peace process, he said Brussels will examine the arrangements that may be agreed in the context of a solution and if they do not allow the state to speak with one voice, then Cyprus is running the risk of not been accepted in the Union.
He explained that the EU does not favour derogations from its principles but does discuss transition periods for many issues, which the Greek Cypriot side accepts but which should be as short as possible.