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Government Spokesman says that Turkish stance must change in order to reach a solution
2009-07-15 13:16:25

Nicosia, July 14 (CNA) --- If Turkey does not change its stance towards Cyprus, it is not possible to reach an agreement by December, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has stressed.

Stephanou, who was commenting on remarks by Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Cyprus, called on Turkey to change its stance and pointed out that he is not in a position to decide now whether the negotiations will have “a happy ending”, but reiterated the determination of the Greek Cypriot side to achieve an agreed solution.

“As things stand at present and given the positions put forward at the negotiating table by the Turkish side – if these do not change - we don’t see how it would be possible by December to agree on a solution which will then be put to a referendum”, he said. “That’s why we call on the Turkish side to change its stance”, he pointed out.

When asked if the government is concerned about Gul’s remarks, Stephanou said the effort is to lead the negotiations to the desired outcome, which is a solution to the problem.

“That which will determine the course of the negotiations is the positions which are put forward at the negotiating table rather than various public statements, although they also have their own significance and are being monitored,” he added.

Moreover, he said that “we expect that positions which will serve and promote an agreed solution of a bizonal, bicommunal, federation will be submitted at the negotiating table”.

He then added that “we are not in a position to say now whether the negotiations will come to a positive outcome”.

Replying to another question, Stephanou said “we want a solution the soonest possible”, noting that “we are not in favor of unproductive passage of time which makes the effort for a solution more difficult.”

Commenting on Gul’s remarks that the issue of guarantees concerns Greece, Turkey and Britain (the three guarantor powers) and not the island’s two communities, Stephanou said that the Republic of Cyprus co-signed the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, and as such “it is first and foremost the Republic which has a say on this issue, which directly concerns and affects the present and future of our people, both Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots”.

On Gul’s comments that the solution will entail equal share of responsibilities in a new partnership, Stephanou pointed out that “when we talk about the parameters of the solution, we cannot refer to them at will, mentioning only those we think are in our interest and misinterpreting them too.”

“The parameters of the solution are a unified state with a single sovereignty, one citizenship and one international personality, which have already been agreed on between the two communities”, he stressed, noting that “it has also been agreed that the solution will exclude union, partition or secession.”

The objective, he added, is through negotiations to reach a mutually acceptable and agreed solution on the basis of what has been agreed between the two communities, namely a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality as outlined in the relevant UN resolutions on the evolution of the unitary state to a federal state.

He reiterated that the objective of the Greek Cypriot side, which is based on the principles of international and European law and UN resolutions, is to reach a solution which will put an end to the occupation and reunite Cyprus as well as restore human rights and fundamental freedoms of all the people “because only that way the solution will be just, viable and functional.”

Commenting on Turkish demands that the solution of the Cyprus problem must become primary law within the EU, Stephanou made it clear that primary law cannot exist, adding that the solution will be on the basis of the 10 protocol which stipulates that Cyprus joined the EU in 2004 with all its territory and due to the inability (because of the massive presence of Turkish occupation troops) to exercise effective control in the northern part of the country, the EU acquis communautaire has been temporarily suspended.

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