President Christofias Disappointed with Talat's Stance on Limnitis Issue
Nicosia, May 21 - President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias has expressed disappointment regarding the stance of Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat on the opening of a crossing point in Limnitis, and referred to “greed” on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot side, which continues to submit new terms.
Speaking on his return to the Presidential Palace after a meeting with Talat in the context of direct negotiations to solve the Cyprus problem, President Christofias said he was “disappointed” because “every time he submits new terms, which of course cannot be accepted.”
President Christofias did not want to elaborate on the new terms set by the Turkish Cypriot side, noting that “they cannot be accepted and it appears that Talat is dynamiting the whole effort.”
“I think the Turkish army does not want to open Limnitis. This is my overall conclusion. I am saddened by this. I expected a different behaviour on behalf of Mr. Talat. However, it seems, despite the fact he does not acknowledge it, that many things may not depend on him,” the President pointed out.
Asked if the situation could be reversed, President Christofias said this was the reason he would not refer to the terms. “I want another last effort to be made,” he noted.
To questions regarding the transportation of fuel by the Turkish Cypriot side, a term the Greek Cypriot side has already dismissed, President Christofias said “the first thing that made me tell him that we have a deadlock and he is dynamiting everything was his insistence on the fuel.”
Asked if a common meeting of the leaders of the two communities with the local authorities of the area would not be taking place after this development, President Christofias said he did not believe such a meeting could be held under the current circumstances.
“I do not think so, if Mr. Talat continues to hold the same views and submit the same terms. We had started from nothing and every time a new term is submitted. We have decided, for the sake of the residents, the termination of their enclavement and isolation, to make moves, which under different circumstances we would not have made, but it appears that there is greed and thus there is no reason, if Mr. Talat's insistence persists, to hold a common meeting,” he said.
The issue of opening up the crossing point of Limnitis will be further discussed by Presidential Commissioner George Iacovou and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat's adviser Ozdil Nami Cyprus.
Returning to the Presidential Palace after their meeting on Thursday, May 28, and asked if he conveyed the request of Maronites to hold a Mass at the church of Ayia Marina in the occupied areas, President Christofias said that “everything we needed to put forward has been put forward.”
President Christofias refrained from commenting developments in the UN Security Council regarding the resolution on the renewal of the mandate of UNFICYP.
Asked to comment on a statement made by the Special Advisor of the UNSG on Cyprus Alexander Downer that there has been no letter sent to him by President Christofias on this issue, the President replied that he has sent a letter to the SG and not to Mr. Downer.
Further, President Christofias responded to a question regarding whether there had been progress on issues concerning the economy, saying only the issue of Limnitis had been discussed during Thursday's meeting and that they would be getting into the economy next week.
The government of Cyprus has pledged it is ready to open the crossing point of Limnitis to facilitate free movement but the Turkish Cypriot side has asked for the supply of electricity in the area of Kokkina as well as fuel in order to give its consent to the opening of the crossing point.