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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Christofias: time not right for an international conference ]

Christofias: time not right for an international conference

Author: 
Jacqueline Agathocleous

TALKS FOR a Cyprus settlement are “of Cypriot ownership” President Demetris Christofias said yesterday, responding to the Turkish Prime Minister’s proposal for a multi-party conference on Cyprus.
He added that an international conference could take place only on international aspects of the Cyprus problem.
On Friday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan joined his Greek counterpart George Papandreou in an Athens press briefing to suggest an international  meeting with Cyprus’ guarantor powers – Greece, Turkey and the UK – as well a representatives from the UN and EU, to contribute to efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem.
“Papandreou reiterated that Greece insists on the Cypriot ownership of the process,” said Christofias, adding that Greece and Cyprus had a common position.
“Once the conditions are ripe it would be useful to have an international conference with the participation of the UN Security Council members to deal with the international aspects of the Cyprus problem, the issues of guarantees and security,” he said.
Christofias said he was satisfied with the Greek Prime Minister’s comments on the Cyprus problem. Papandreou had said that it was time Greece and Turkey attempted to put the past behind them in order to help find a settlement.
“These are positions of principle, sound positions which associate the full normalisation of the relations between the two countries (Greece and Turkey) and their full development with the resolution of the Cyprus problem,” Christofias said.
Erdogan’s stance that Turkey could open its ports to ships flying the Cyprus flag if Cyprus opened its ports to Turkish vessels in exchange, was rejected by Christofias.
“If Mr Erdogan implies the ports of Cyprus controlled by the Cypriot government that is one thing; if he implies the ports located in the northern part of the island, it’s another,” said Christofias.
“The ports under occupation cannot open as a trade-off for the self-explanatory Turkish obligation towards the EU and the Republic of Cyprus, a member-state of the EU.”
The President put in a reminder of Cyprus’ demand for the return of the fenced-off city of Famagusta to the UN in return for opening the Famagusta port under EU administration.
“It is not possible for the Republic of Cyprus to grant any authorities to the self-styled TRNC as implied by Turkey,” said Christofias. “Our position on the issue is steadfast and will remain as such.”



(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.



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