November 11, 2002


Mr. Alvaro de Soto handed me today the UN Secretary-General's proposals for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

The negotiating process is now entering its most delicate and crucial phase. The handling to be made in the coming weeks will be of crucial and of decisive importance. In the future, a lot will depend on the way we shall handle developments. The political leaders and the National Council with calm, unity and a sense of responsibility will start tomorrow the study of the UN Secretary General's plan. To this end, I have called a meeting of the national council for 6 pm tomorrow.

Since July 1974 we have struggling with consistency to prove that the fate of Cyprus does not lie in division and partition. We have made great efforts to pursue a peaceful solution and an honourable compromise, which so far have had no response from the other side.

Our vision is a united Cyprus to become an equal member of the European Union, to provide security and prosperity to all its inhabitants, with the safeguarding of human rights and freedoms. We must close forever the chapter of national conflicts and wars and we must usher in in a new era of prosperity and progress.

Fellow countrymen,

We have to face these crucial developments with unity and unanimity, with prudence and sense of responsibility.  During these crucial moments there is no room for over-simplifications or maximalist approaches.

Having as our guide the interests of Cyprus and also our firm position that there are safety limits, which the Greek Cypriot side has the legitimate moral and political right not to go beyond, we shall study the proposals given us.

The framework set by the U.N. Security Council resolutions lay down the principles on which a solution to the Cyprus problem should be based. These resolutions form the objective judgment and the collective wisdom not of the parties involved in the Cyprus problem, but of the world community at large. In this framework, a single sovereignty , a single international personality snd a single citizenship, as well as respect for human rights should find their place in the solution we are seeking.

At this important juncture, I call upon all the political forces and the entire Cyprus people to unite and cooperate. I look upon to the National Council as a collaborator and an assistant in this difficult effort. Our effort to solve the Cyprus problem should acquire the greatest possible political and social consensus.

The Plan submitted covers all the aspects of the Cyprus problem. It is evident that it contains provisions that satisfy our positions and also provisions that are not to our liking and do not satisfy us, However we shall judge the Plan as a whole. It is on this basis that we shall determine whether it serves the interests of the Cyprus people and whether it can really open up the way for breaking the deadlock and lead to a solution of the Cyprus problem. Being unable to see the wood for the trees is not my way of reasoning.

I wish to underline in particular the important role and the firm and unwavering support Greece has been playing in our whole effort. The cooperation between Greece and Cyprus has been an important positive factor both in respect of developments  in our efforts to solve the Cyprus problem and in respect of our accession course. It is my intention to safeguard as the apple of the eye this cooperation and unanimity between Greece and Cyprus, in its widest form, not only with the Government but also with all the political parties in Greece.

I have been in continuous touch with Prime Minister Simitis and we have agreed to meet next Saturday to coordinate our actions.

I call upon the people of Cyprus who will have the final say concerning the approval or rejection of any agreement that may be achieved, to remain cool, calm and firm. The guiding light of all our handling should be the interest of Cyprus and its people and nothing else.

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