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Omirou and Izcan believe UN plan can be a basis for negotiations
2002-11-30 15:41:01

Nicosia, Nov 29 (CNA) - President of the Movement of Social Democrats Yiannakis Omirou and General Secretary of the Turkish Cypriot ''United Cyprus'' party Izzet Izcan believe that the UN Secretary General's plan for a solution of the Cyprus problem can be a basis for negotiations for a comprehensive settlement.

They also believe that negotiations can continue even after December 12 when the European Council will decide on enlargement and Cyprus' accession to the European Union (EU).

Speaking after meeting Omirou in the government-controlled areas of the Republic, Izcan said ''we see the UN plan as a basis for the negotiations and we accept it as the basis''.|

''We see this is a big chance for Cyprus and we shall not miss it. If we miss it, it means Cyprus may remain divided for a long period of time'', Izcan said.

Noting there are some elements in the plan that do not satisfy both sides, he said ''these will have to be tackled''.

He said it is about time ''Cypriots learned to compromise'', adding that ''as long as we compromise for the Cypriots, as long we compromise for the benefits of our people, for the benefits of our children, we have a chance''.

Referring to Wednesday's demonstration in the occupied areas in favour of the Annan plan, Izcan said ''the Turkish Cypriot community has proved to the world what it really wants''.

He added that the demonstration was attended by ''over 20 thousand people, which is equal to one fourth of the population and that means every Turkish Cypriot family has been represented at the march''.

Izcan said the slogan ''Cyprus is ours, Cyprus should be united and peace in Cyprus cannot be prevented'', echoes the ''real, true feelings and wishes and demands of the Turkish Cypriot community''.

He pointed out the necessity for cooperation between all the forces ''who are for solution, who are for democracy, who are for human rights, who are for a united Cyprus, who are for a Cyprus in the European family''.

Commenting on the scheduled counter-demonstration in the occupied areas, Izcan said there are ''some fanatics'' in the Turkish Cypriot community who will ''do their job and we will do ours, and we believe that at the end of the day the democratic forces will win and Cyprus will win''.

Izcan pledged his party would ''continue resisting fanaticism and chauvinism and work against any forces working against the interests of the Turkish Cypriots, Greek Cypriots, Maronites or Armenians''.

Asked if the Turkish Cypriot side will want to continue negotiations even after December 12, Izcan said it is becoming clear that ''the negotiations are about to start''.

He acknowledged that it is possible ''we may not get an agreement before 12 December but we believe that the negotiations should continue after 12 December'' and that ''Cyprus' membership to Europe should not be stopped''.

This, he added, is not only in the interests of the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots but also in the interests of Turkey and Greece.

Izcan noted that he ''strongly supports a date or date for a date for Turkey'' to start accession negotiations with the EU.

Omirou said the meeting was held in an especially critical time for the future of Cyprus. ''We had a very constructive and fruitful exchange of views both on developments regarding the Annan plan and what is going to happen in Copenhagen regarding Cyprus' accession to the European Union'', he said.

He added that both parties agree that the UN Secretary General's plan can be a basis for negotiations between the two sides, ''irrespective of the fact that we have different views on provisions in the plan which should be altered to allow the plan constitute a basis for negotiations''.

Omirou said both parties agreed to continue their close cooperation to promote the common aim of the reunification of Cyprus, implementation of the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all the people of Cyprus and to implement measures that will help the process to solve the Cyprus problem.

Cyprus, which opened accession negotiations with the EU in 1998, has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.

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