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Leaders Hold 33rd Meeting on Limnitis and Territory Issue
2009-06-17 09:33:19

Nicosia, Jun 15 - The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus continued on Monday in the framework of direct negotiations for a Cyprus solution their discussion on the territorial issue as well as on the opening of the crossing point of Limnitis, which will facilitate movement to and from the northern Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus.

As UNSG Special Representative in Cyprus, Tayee Brook Zerihoun, told journalists after the 33rd meeting between President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, the two leaders held a long tête-à-tête meeting for three hours during which they continued discussion on the Limnitis issue and the territorial issue.

“Today, they exchanged papers with their replies to each other’s initial introductory remarks,” Mr. Zerihoun said.

He also said that the two leaders will continue the discussion on these issues next week on Friday the 26th and that their representatives will meet sometime this week.

“They have agreed to meet again a week from this Friday, on the 26th. But in the interim, the representatives -- Mr. (Ozdil) Nami and Mr. (George) Iacovou – will meet to continue discussions on Limnitis in the UN’s presence, and also to discuss the territory issue,” Mr. Zerihoun told the reporters.

When asked to comment on whether the two sides are close to an agreement, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou called on reporters not to make hast concerning the opening of the Limnitis checkpoint, adding that although the President had said the two sides are close to an agreement, “do not be in a hurry.”

For the past 45 years, Greek Cypriot residents in the area of Limnitis, on the northwest, have had to travel to Paphos, on the western coast, and Limassol, on the south, in order to reach the capital Nicosia. Opening a crossing point at Limnitis would make this journey far shorter. In the recent past, several crossing points to and from the island’s northern Turkish occupied areas have opened to facilitate the movement of people.

Referring to the type of a solution which the President of the Republic Demetris Christofias is pursuing, the Spokesman said that the President had stressed, something which is mutually acceptable, that the solution will be a bizonal, bicommunal federation, a painful compromise which the Greek Cypriot side has accepted due to the de facto situation created by the invasion and occupation.

He said this solution is necessary to end the fait accompli created by the invasion in order to reunite Cyprus. “It is the position of the President of the Republic that the solution must be based on principles, just as his efforts for a solution is based on principles,” he added.

The Spokesman repeated that the solution is based on the high level agreements of 1977-1979 where the painful compromise for a bizonal, bicommunal solution was made by the late Archbishop Makarios III. “This solution is part of a number of UN resolutions and the basis of a solution has been repeated in the preparatory period with the common statements by the President of the Republic and the Turkish Cypriot leader and on this basis we are searching for a solution,” Mr. Stephanou added.

“We always base our argument on the UN resolutions on Cyprus, the international and European law principles, with the aim that the solution will restore and secure the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people. Therefore, the solution of a bizonal, bicommunal federation which is a compromise will be based on principles,” he concluded.

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