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2002-11-11 16:20:25

Statement of the President of Cyprus to the people of Cyprus
November 11, 2002
Mr. Alvaro de Soto, handed to me at 5.00 pm, the proposals of the UN Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan for a solution of the Cyprus problem.

The negotiating process is in the most delicate and decisive phase. The handling to be made in the coming weeks will be a crucial one and of decisive importance. In the future, a lot will depend on the way we shall handle developments. The political leaders and the Cyprus National Council with calm, unity and a sense of responsibility will start tomorrow the study of the UN Secretary General's plan. To this end, I have called a meeting of the National Council for 6pm tomorrow.

Since July 1974 we have been struggling with consistency to prove that the fate of Cyprus does not lie in division and partition. We have exerted great efforts to achieve a peaceful solution and an honorable compromise, on there has been no response from the other side so far.

Our vision is a united Cyprus to become an equal member of the European Union, to provide security and prosperity to all its inhabitants, with the safeguarding of human rights and freedoms. We must close for ever the chapter of national conflicts and wars and we must usher in a new era of prosperity and progress.

Fellow countrymen,

We have to face these crucial developments with unity and unanimity, with prudence and a sense of responsibility. During these crucial moments there is no room for over-simplifications or maximalist approaches.

Having as our guide the interests of Cyprus and also our firm position that there are safety limits which the Greek Cypriot side has the moral and political right not to go beyond, we shall study the proposals given to us.

The framework set by the UN Security Council Resolutions lay down the principles on which a solution to the Cyprus Problem should be based. These resolutions form the objective judgment and the collective wisdom not of the parties involved in the Cyprus Problem, but of the World Community at large. In this framework, a single sovereignty, a single international personality, and a single citizenship as well as respect for human rights should find there place in the solution we are seeking.

At this important juncture, I call upon all the political forces and all the people of Cyprus to unite and cooperate. I look to the National Council as a collaborator and as an assistant in this difficult effort. Our effort to solve the Cyprus Problem should acquire the greatest possible political and social consensus.

The plan submitted covers all the aspects of the Cyprus Problem. It is evident that it would contain provisions that satisfy our positions, but also provisions that would not be to our liking and would not satisfy us. However, we shall judge the plan as a whole. It is on this basis that we shall determine whether it serves the interests of the people of Cyprus and whether it can really open the way for breaking the deadlock and lead to the solution of the Cyprus Problem. Sacrificing the forest for the sake of the tree is beyond my vision.

I wish to underline in particular the important role that the firm and unwavering support of Greece has been playing in the whole effort. The cooperation between Greece and Cyprus has been an important positive factor both in respect of developments in the efforts to solve the Cyprus Problem and in respect of our EU Accession process. My intention is to safeguard as the "apple of the eye" this cooperation and concurrence between Greece and Cyprus, in its widest form, not only with the government of Greece but also with all the political parties in Greece.

I have been in continuous touch with Prime Minister Simitis and we have agreed to meet next Saturday to coordinate our actions.

I call upon the people of Cyprus who have the final word in regard to the approval or rejection of any agreement that may be reached, to remain cool, calm and firm. The guiding light of all our handling will be the interest of Cyprus and its people and nothing else.

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