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Christofias Warns Turkey about Non-Compliance with EU Decisions
2009-06-25 08:45:51

Athens, Jun 21 - Cyprus President Demetris Christofias has warned Turkey that its European Union accession course could be at risk, if it does not meet its obligations to the Union and to Cyprus.

“Unless Ankara fulfills its commitments, it will find us on its path to join the Union,” the President said in his address at a commemorative event in Ipati, in Greece to mark the anniversary of the holocaust of the town on June 17, 1944.

The President also said that the Greek government, the Greek political parties and generally the Greek people are Cyprus’ main support in efforts to find a negotiated settlement that will reunite Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

''In that Great War Cypriots, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots fought together with Greece and other nations against fascism and Nazism claiming the right to peace, justice, freedom and democracy'', President Christofias recalled.

On the night of the 25th of November, he said, during the bombing of the Gorgopotamos' bridge, a Greek Cypriot Georgios Trillides and two Turkish Cypriots Osman Souglis and Kemal Nafi participated in that mission.

President Christofias said that many citizens of Ipati have served in Cyprus after the Turkish invasion of 1974, including the Mayor Demetri Karavana and the alderman Constantinos Rouska.

Referring to the nine months of direct negotiations between the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community and himself, President Christofias said they are hard and that the path to a solution is full of obstacles.

Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side, he added, must demonstrate understanding and the necessary good will in the direct negotiations in order to reach a solution to the Cyprus problem.

President Christofias said that if Turkey wants to proceed with its EU accession efforts, it must understand the need to meet its commitments towards the European Union and Cyprus.

He said that Cyprus, as a UN and EU member, is fighting to rid itself of the occupation, it wants a reunited country on the basis of the fundamental principles and rights which the European Union represents.

He stressed that he aims at a bizonal, bicommunal federal Cyprus, a solution based on international law and compatible with the principles and values on which the European Union is founded.

''We carry out negotiations in good faith, defending principles. We are at the same time flexible so as to achieve a mutually acceptable solution, which will ensure the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of a united federal Republic of Cyprus, the human rights and the fundamental freedoms and rights of all Cypriots, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins.

In these efforts, he pointed out, Greece provides the main support.

Turkey, an aspiring EU member, has yet to recognize the Republic of Cyprus or normalize its relations with this EU member state, where it maintains nearly 43,000 occupation troops since the 1974 Turkish invasion. Ankara, in spite of repeated calls, has refused to open its ports and airports to Cypriot flagged vessels and aircraft.

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