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President Christofias Asks Gul to Assist Efforts for a Political Settlement in Cyprus
2008-09-26 13:20:25

United Nations, Sep 26 – President Demetris Christofias has said that he has asked Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul to assist efforts for a political settlement in Cyprus.

Speaking at a press conference in New York, where he addressed on Wednesday the UN General Assembly, President Christofias reiterated his will and determination for a solution to the Cyprus question the soonest possible, stressing that “the reunification of the island, the end of [Turkey’s] occupation and the creation of conditions of peaceful coexistence and co-living with the Turkish Cypriots is a need.”

“This is my commitment and I am going to honor this commitment hoping that Mr. Mehmet Ali Talat and of course Turkey will give this opportunity to us,” President Christofias said.

He noted that he had the opportunity to have a brief encounter with the Turkish President, to shake hands with him and exchange a few words.

The President expressed regret that the Turkish delegation left the UN Assembly hall as he delivered his address, a practice Turkish diplomats have always applied.

President Christofias said that he asked Gul to assist, “because I am sure and I told him that Turkey, and I have underlined this in my speech, could play really a decisive role in the solution of the Cyprus problem because it is Turkey which maintains 40 thousand, more than 40 thousand troops and 160 thousand or more than 160 thousand settlers in Cyprus.”

“It was a good conversation. He said that he backs the negotiations but of course this is not enough. We need positive moves from Turkey in order to create the conditions for the final solution of the problem. If we really want a solution, the solution must be based on this reality, I mean on the reality of the existence of the Republic of Cyprus and the evolution of this Republic into a bizonal, bicommunal federal state,” the Cypriot President said.

President Christofias expressed the conviction that by solving the Cyprus question Turkey will rid itself from a big burden which hinders its accession course to the European Union.

He stressed that “there will be no new partnership [in Cyprus]. This is the old partnership which is going to be continued under new circumstances and the evolution of the unified state into a bizonal, bicommunal federal state,” President Christofias concluded.

''In Cyprus there is a partnership of two communities and one state. According to the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus and the treaties that established the Republic, Cyprus is a partnership between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. What is needed today is the evolution from a unified state to a bizonal, bicommunal federation,'' he explained.

President Christofias recalled that the Turkish Cypriot illegal regime in Cyprus’s Turkish occupied areas has been declared and null and void by UN resolutions, noting that the so-called isolation of Turkish Cypriots derives from these resolutions, as no one recognizes this regime.

When asked about Turkey's candidacy for the Security Council, he said that it is not right for a country which has been occupying illegally for 34 years part of the territory of another country to become a member of the Security Council, but this is for the UN members to decide.

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