Cyprus, Greece to seek international support to Greek Cypriot proposals

08:36, July 22, 2010      

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Cyprus and Greece said on Wednesday they will seek international support on a three-point proposal aimed at promoting a peace solution in the island, despite its rejection by the Turkish Cypriot community.

"These proposals could speed up the bi-communal talks, and could significantly improve the climate," said Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou after talks with Cyprus President Demetris Christofias.

"We wish the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey will seriously consider them," Papandreou added at a joint press conference with Christofias during a short stop over at Larnaca airport on his way to Israel and the Palestinian territories.

The proposals, made public last week by Greek Cypriot leader Christofias, provide for parallel discussion of the chapters of property, territorial adjustments and the repatriation of thousands of mainland Turkey settlers at his talks with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu on a Cyprus solution..

Christofias also asked for the handing to the United Nations of Famagusta, a ghost city fenced-off since the 1974 Turkish military intervention of Cyprus and an international conference on Cyprus involving the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, the European Union and guarantor countries Greece, Britain and Turkey.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey militarily intervened and occupied the north of the island following a short- lived coup by a group of Greek officers.

The Turkish Cypriot leader has publicly rejected the proposal but Christofias said an effort will be undertaken to promote it to the European Union after detecting an initial favorable reaction.

"If these proposals were accepted (by the Turkish side), they would pave the way for a solution to the Cyprus problem," Christofias said.

He blamed Turkey on being bent on public relations tactics by declaring that it wants a solution to the Cyprus problem by the end of the year while insisting on intransigent proposals.

Cemil Cicek, Turkish State Minister in Charge of Cyprus Affairs, on a visit to a part of northern Cyprus to attend celebrations Tuesday on the anniversary of Turkey's military intervention, said that if a solution were not found by the end of this year "each side will go its own way."

He insisted on a solution providing for two separate states and two peoples.

"To the communication tactics of Turkey, which aims at blaming the Greek Cypriot side, we respond with action," said Christofias.

Christofias and Eroglu will continue talks on Thursday in an effort to break a serious impasse on the property issue, holding back an overall solution.

The negotiations started two years ago, but there are still wide divergences between the two sides.

Source: Xinhua


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