Greek Cyprus opposes UN plan, embargo-lifting in the north

Greek Cyprus's new President Demetris Christofias said on Friday will not accept UN plan as a point for restarting restarting reunification talks with Turkish Cyprus.

Greek Cyprus opposes UN plan, embargo-lifting in the north
Greek Cyprus's new President Demetris Christofias said on Friday, attending his first European Union summit after being elected last month, said there had been statements from Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and Turkey that the Turkish-Cypriot side planned to table the UN plan.

He said he would be going into talks scheduled for March 21 'full of goodwill'.

Christofias said "it would not be possible to make progress this month on restarting reunification talks if the Turkish side stuck to a UN settlement blueprint".

Christofias has previously said he hoped for agreement to open more crossings along the truce line, but on Friday he opposed any possibility of lifting a de facto economic embargo on the north as called for by the European Commission.

'We say frankly to the Commission that the view of the Commission towards the lifting of the so-called embargo against the Turkish Cypriots is wrong,' said Christofias.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops entered in response to a coup by Greek-Cypriots at the urging of the military then ruling Greece. Its division along the truce line is an obstacle to Turkey's bid to join the EU.

Talat's last encounter with Christofias's predecessor, Tassos Papadopoulos, ended in failure in September 2007.

Analysts and diplomats say this may be the last chance to reunite the island in a federation.

Turkey recognises the Turkish Cypriot state in the north.

Cyprus joined the EU soon after the reunification talks stalled and Brussels recognises the Greek-Cypriot controlled government in the south as "the island's sole authority".

Reunification talks stalled in 2004 when Greek Cypriots rejected the UN plan, which was accepted by the Turkish Cypriots.

Agencies
Last Mod: 14 Mart 2008, 14:03
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