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Media Watch 2003

14 May 2003
Source: Cyprus Mail
Author: Jean Christou
Comment: The following article appeared in the Cyprus Mail of Nicosia on 14 May 2003
Papadopoulos holds firm on solution stance

THE PARTIAL lifting of travel restrictions by the Turkish Cypriot side, which began last month, is not even a ‘step’ towards a Cyprus settlement, President Tassos Papadopoulos said yesterday.

Papadopoulos also said Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash’s only aims are eliminating the UN plan and that Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan never had a different policy on Cyprus than the usual one followed by Ankara.

''The Greek Cypriot side, in spite of Denktash's attempt to impose his position that the question of Cyprus was solved in 1974 and that what remains to be settled is to implement measures for good neighbourliness. We will not cease to stress that these measures are not even a step towards a political settlement,'' Papadopoulos told reporters.

The President said UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan would be ready to undertake a new initiative if the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides accept his plan without terms, something he would consider real proof of political will on their part to proceed with a solution and fix dates for a referendum on the plan.

''We have repeatedly communicated our positions to the Secretary-general. The changes we wish to have in the peace plan are outlined in writing in a document I have submitted to him,'' Papadopoulos said.

Government spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said yesterday they would welcome the involvement of the EU in efforts for a new Cyprus initiative to be undertaken.

“We expect there will be an involvement to an extent, based on decisions to be taken by the Council,” he said adding that the EU “supports, monitors and strengthens” the negotiating framework but does not become involved directly and in a leading manner in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem. ''To the degree that it is possible for the EU itself, any involvement is welcome.” He added."