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Media Watch 2003

10 May 2003
Source: Cyprus Mail
Comment: The following article appeared in the Cyprus Mail of Nicosia on 10 May 2003.
President slam’s Erdogan’s ‘two state’ message

PRESIDENT Tassos Papadopoulos yesterday rejected Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statement that there were two separate states in Cyprus.

Papadopoulos said Erdogan’s visit to the north was an illegal act “that comes from the political leader of a country which invaded and still occupies illegally and with the use of force a great part of the Republic of Cyprus whose independence, territorial integrity and security it had guaranteed in 1960”.

“If Mr. Erdogan supports a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, as well as the good offices mission of the Secretary-general just as he claimed during his departure from Turkey, he can turn his general declaration into a specific political action, persuading Mr Denktash to come forward to substantial negotiations, accepting the Annan plan as a basis for negotiations,” Papadopoulos said.

The President repeated the Greek Cypriot side’s willingness to return to the negotiating table for substantial talks under UN auspices based on the plan drawn up by UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan.

Papadopoulos reiterated the willingness and readiness of the Greek Cypriot side for “direct and substantial talks under the UN auspices, based on the Annan plan, to find a solution based on the relevant UN decisions”

“Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots have actually shown and with their attitude proved in the last days that the common vision of a reunited country unites them,” Papadopoulos said.

“The two communities can and should live together in peace, through a reunited country and a single state, within the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation. However, the recent ease in the restrictions in the freedom of movement of citizens, imposed by the Turkish side since 1974, and the pursuit of measures of good neighbourliness cannot be considered nor do they constitute a solution to the Cyprus problem.”

He said the Turkish side’s approach clashed with high-level agreements and Security Council resolutions.

“The experience of all these years proves the international community neither accepts nor can accept the existence and recognition of two sovereign states on the island,” Papadopoulos said, adding that it was this insistence by the Turkish Cypriot side that had led to its exclusion from the EU acquis and prevented a reunited island joining the bloc.

“It was Cyprus’ accession prospect that led the UN to intensify efforts for an overall settlement, with the approval of all, including Mr Denktash,” Papadopoulos said.

“I hope that these fundamental principles will be acknowledged as corresponding to today’s realities, and that from this acknowledgement any developments leading to a just, viable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem will be determined.”"