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Cyprus solution possible in 2009 if Turkey shows good will says President Christofias
2008-11-28 15:01:23

Athens, Nov 28 - Cyprus President Demetris Christofias said on Friday that he was fully satisfied with the results of his official visit to Athens.

“The convergence of views regarding the Cyprus problem and the policy to be followed with a view to reaching a just and viable solution to the problem as soon as possible was reconfirmed,” President Christofias told a press conference at the Union of Foreign Press Correspondents in Greece.

He described the Cyprus problem as an “Odyssey,” assuring however that “we will keep traveling until we reach Ithaca.”

The President described the stance of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat as contradictory, noting that “while in the negotiations’ table Mr. Talat underlines that he does not seek a bi-federal solution all of his proposals tend to a bi-federal model.”

President Christofias said that the Greek Cypriot side has entered the direct negotiations that commenced early September under the UN auspices, with the sole aim of reaching a mutually accepted solution to the Cyprus problem.

“We remain focused on this target. We will keep with the same good will with the same determination and flexibility but with the same consistency on the principles, we will continue to work for the solution of the problem,” the President added.

Addressing the Turkish Cypriot leadership, President Christofias said that it is necessary to “respond to our goodwill and submit to the negotiations table rational and negotiable proposals.”

Expressing the belief that if Turkey shows good will in the negotiations a solution within 2009 is possible, President Christofias called on the international community to exert pressure on Ankara.

He also called on Turkey to understand that it is impossible to aspire to enter the EU while at the same time continue violating the international law, the sovereignty the independence and territorial integrity of an UN and EU member-state.

“It is not possible for us to acquiesce to Turkey's accession to the EU, while it will continue violating international and European legality,” he stressed.

Full identity of views on the handling of the Cyprus question was ascertained between Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis during their meeting in Athens.

PM Karamanlis stressed that they have agreed that the direct negotiations must continue until the two sides agree on a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem. President Christofias sent a clear message to the international community that there is no plan ‘B’ on the Cyprus problem, since for the Greek Cypriot side there is only plan ‘A’, namely the insistence on a solution.

Speaking after the meeting, PM Karamanlis noted that the direct negotiating process that began in September this year, was the outcome of President Christofias’s initiatives, and reiterated that the framework of the solution is well known. “It is the UN resolutions and the EU principles and values,” he said, stressing that the agreed negotiating basis refers to a “bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality, a single international personality, single sovereignty and single citizenship.”

PM Karamanlis underlined that any deviation from those principles contravenes the UN Security Council resolutions and challenges what has already been agreed. “Despite the difficulties, we totally agree with President Christofias, that the negotiations should go on until the finding of a comprehensive and agreed solution.”

The Greek Prime Minister reiterated that the process does not provide for strict timeframes or arbitration, and that the agreed solution will be put to referenda in both communities.

“We fully support President Christofias’s initiatives, with lasting cooperation and complete coordination between the two governments. A coordination, which under the current circumstances becomes even tighter,” he added.

PM Karamanlis stressed that the content of a solution concerns the European Union as well, noting that any deviations from the European acquis that might be agreed should be limited and temporary.

“It is unthinkable, in an EU territory, outdated systems of guarantees and unilateral right for intervention to exist,” he added. Referring to the recent incident in the Cyprus Republic’s Exclusive Economic Zone, PM Karamanlis pointed out that such provocative actions are not helpful for the ongoing efforts. “They cause serious concerns,” he said.

President Christofias referred to the Greek government and Prime Minister’s great interest in the Cyprus problem and assured that the identity of views between the two governments is not just words. He also thanked PM Karamanlis for the support the Greek government regarding the handlings on the Cyprus issue.

Commenting on the Turkish provocations at sea, within Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone and in the Aegean Sea, President Christofias stressed that the Republic of Cyprus will defend its sovereign rights, and pointed out that there is no other option than to remain at the negotiating table and insist on finding a solution. “The Plan ‘B’ for us is the Plan ‘A’,” he said, explaining that the Republic of Cyprus will insist on the dialogue between the two sides.

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