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Cyprus Government insists on Famagusta proposal
2007-01-25 12:58:32

Nicosia, Jan 25 - Nicosia insists that the return of the Turkish - occupied town of Famagusta to its lawful inhabitants is directly linked with the opening of the Famagusta port for trade, said Cyprus Government Spokesman Christodoulos Pashiardes.

Commenting on a statement by EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn that the return of the fenced-off town of Famagusta is not linked with the discussions on the Commission’s direct trade regulations between the Turkish Cypriots and EU countries, but is rather part of the overall solution of the Cyprus problem, Mr. Pashiardes also said this “is in conflict with our position”.

“We have not retreated from our position regarding the Famagusta issue. The opening of the Famagusta port is directly linked with the return of the occupied town to its lawful citizens”, he added.

Nicosia’s position regarding the proposed European Commission regulation on direct trade between the EU and Turkish Cypriots, includes the opening of the Famagusta port under EU supervision. It also calls for the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Famagusta, the initial control by the UN of the fenced - off town of Varosha and the return of the legitimate inhabitants back to Varosha. A moratorium regarding the illegal exploitation of Greek Cypriot property in the Turkish occupied areas is also part of the proposal.

The Spokesman underlined that Cyprus’ position is the same as that of the EU based on the unanimous decision of the EU Permanent Representatives Committee(COREPER). "This position and decision is not overruled by the recent EU General Affairs and External Relations Council,” he added.

Regarding a proposal on a united economy submitted on Wednesday by the ruling Democratic Party (Diko) at a meeting between Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot political parties, the Spokesman said it is “a key issue with political dimensions”.

“The possibility of having two separate economies in a reunited Cyprus would undermine the economic foundations of the federal state and would become a serious cause of difference and disparity between the two constituent states”, he said.

The Spokesman also welcomed the meetings between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot political parties, saying that “they promote a climate of trust and cooperation between the two communities, for the benefit of all people of Cyprus”.

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