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Media Watch 2003

09 June 2003
Source: Phileleftheros
Comment: The following article appeared Phileleftheros of Nicosia on 9 June 2003.
Clerides dismissed Kleanthous’ accusations regarding Ammohostos

“There was no secret agreement”

Nicosia: The former President of the Republic, Glafkos Clerides dismissed expressly the allegations made by the deputy president of DIKO, Nicos Kleanthous regarding the Ammohostos port and his accusations about a secret agreement. Mr. Clerides stressed that he was not withholding any evidence and that there was not any secret or other agreement on the matter.

Mr. Kleanthous in the light of the statements of EU Negotiator, Leopold Maurer, severely criticised Mr. Clerides about the proposal for the re-operation of the port by the Greek and Turkish Municipality of Ammohostos and accused him of withholding evidence, insinuating that there were many more things left unrevealed.

He said that the issue had been raised for the first time in 1983, during the discussion for the Confidence Built Measures and the UN had proposed the operation of Ammohostos port under UN supervision, a proposal that had been rejected by Rauf Denktash. The operation of the port was discussed within the framework of Ammohostos’ return.

The USA persuaded the Turkish side, which accepted the proposal, but Rauf Denktash demanded the establishment of Turkish guardhouses on the only road that would lead to Ammohostos.

Yet, Mr. Clerides suggested that under those conditions no one of the inhabitants would agree to return to the city, to resettle and to invest.

Few years later, the US Presidential Emissary for Cyprus, Alfred Moses returned with a proposal for the re-operation of the port with the cooperation between the two Municipalities of the city, which would be recognized by the Cypriot Constitution. Mr. Clerides asked Mr. Moses to ask Denktash first. After two hours, he was informed that the Turkish-Cypriot leader had replied negatively.

Since then, and during the whole period of the discussions of the Annan plan, there has never been an issue of the re-operation of the Ammohostos port.

Mr. Clerides stressed that if the port re-opened, this would take place within the framework of the city’s return and it would operate under the supervision of a legally authorized organ.

Besides, ex President Vasiliou said that the matter was raised during his term as President of the Republic and the answer had been that the port could operate again provided that the inhabitants of Ammohostos returned to their home."