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Spokesman: we resume peace talks in a spirit of give and take
2002-08-26 10:05:19

Nicosia, Aug 26 (CNA) -- The Greek Cypriot side returns to the negotiating table in a spirit of give and take and with a strong desire for compromise, on the basis of decisions the international community has taken with regard to the Cyprus solution, Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said here today.

Speaking only a day before the resumption of the UN-led direct talks, he said at tomorrow's meeting UN Secretary General's special adviser for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto might put forward some suggestions on how to proceed with the talks he has been conducting for the past seven months.

Papapetrou said he would welcome a new solution plan Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash might submit at Tuesday's meeting, provided it takes into serious consideration the positions that the Greek Cypriot side cannot possibly accept.

The spokesman said that next week President Clerides will have a private meeting with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in Paris and then sit at a working lunch Annan is hosting for Clerides and Denktash. |

"We are returning to the direct talks in a spirit of give and take and a strong desire for an honorable compromise which will be based on the decisions and the framework the international community has set out with regard to Cyprus," Papapetrou said.

Noting that the months ahead will be crucial, he said the government is also determined to push for the completion of its accession course, in cooperation with the Greek government.

Asked about Tuesday's meeting in the context of the direct talks, he said "there is nothing specific which will be on tomorrow's agenda but I would say that there is a distinct possibility that de Soto might put forward some suggestions as to how we proceed with the talks."

He refrained from any further comment saying he did not wish to preempt anything.

Invited to comment on the likelihood of fresh proposals for a solution by Denktash, the spokesman said that "any new proposal by Denktash is welcomed provided it takes seriously into account those issues which, I am certain Denktash has understood that cannot be accepted by the Greek Cypriot side and provided he comes forward with such suggestions that are realistic and can lead to a compromise."

On the Paris meeting, he said the President is scheduled to fly to Paris on 4 September and return on the 7th. He will be accompanied by the Republic's new Ambassador to France Minas Hadjimichael, who leaves for the French capital later this week to assume his duties.

Replying to questions on the prospects of the Paris meeting and the possibility of documents being presented to the two leaders by Annan, the spokesman stressed that the Greek Cypriot side "seeks nothing more and nothing less than what the international community has spelt out with regard to the framework of a solution."

The spokesman said President Clerides will not be going to Athens after the Paris meeting, as it was suggested.

The direct talks resume tomorrow morning with a meeting between de Soto, Clerides and Dentkash in the presence of their advisors. After seven months of talks, no substantive progress has been achieved towards a comprehensive settlement because of Denktash's insistence on two separate sovereign states.

The Greek Cypriot side has made it clear it insists on one state with a single sovereignty.

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