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We will study UN proposals in their entirety, says President
2002-11-11 15:38:44

Nicosia, Nov 11 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides stressed here tonight that the UN proposals on a Cyprus settlement, handed to him earlier today, should be looked at in their entirety, noting that certain aspects of the UN ideas ''are not to our liking.''

In an address to the nation after receiving the proposals, the President called on the island's political leadership and the people of Cyprus to act in concert, warning of difficult times.

The President said the Greek Cypriot side has certain safety limits beyond which it cannot go and added that the solution of the Cyprus question should be based on the principles set out in UN resolutions, which express the objective judgment and the collective wisdom of the international community.

President Clerides paid tribute to the important role Greece has played and continues to play in the peace effort and Cyprus' bid to join the European Union and pledged to maintain this relationship. He said on Saturday he will be in Athens for talks with Greek Premier Costas Simitis.

''I call on the people of Cyprus, who will have the last word on any agreement that may be reached, to remain calm, cool and firm. Any move we make will be governed by nothing less than the interests of the country and its people,'' the President added.

He said the UN proposals are to be negotiated and were not handed to him on the basis of ''take it or leave it.''

''The UN Secretary General called me after his special adviser Alvaro de Soto gave me the proposals and asked me, if possible, to give him my reply within seven days as to whether I consider them to be a text on which we can negotiate,'' the President said.

He said the negotiating process is entering ''its most delicate and decisive phase'' and pointed out that moves in the coming weeks will determine the future of the country.

The President said he would give the proposals to the members of the National Council at their meeting tomorrow and looks forward to their assistance these difficult times.

''We will study the proposals we were given taking into consideration the interest of Cyprus and its people but also bearing in mind the firm position that there are safety limits beyond which the Greek Cypriot side cannot go both on moral and on legal grounds,'' the President stressed.

''The framework defined by UN resolutions forms the principles on which a Cyprus settlement should be based and these resolutions are not the objective and collective judgment of those involved in the Cyprus question but of the international community,'' he added.

The President refrained from commenting on the details of the proposals, saying that he has not studied in depth the plan which needs to be studied very carefully.

''The plan we have covers all the aspects of the Cyprus question. It is obvious that it will include provisions that satisfy our positions but also provisions that are not to our liking and do not satisfy us,'' he said.

However, he stressed that the plan should be judged as a whole to see if it serves the interests of the people of Cyprus and if indeed it can pave the way for breaking the deadlock and for finding a settlement.

''Sacrificing the forest for the sake of a tree goes beyond my vision,'' he added.

Asked if there is enough time to reach a settlement before the European Union summit in mid December, he said this question cannot be answered because the solution also depends on the Turkish Cypriot side.|

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