Statement by the President of the Republic Mr. Tassos Papadopoulos after the final meeting on Cyprus in New York

February 13, 2004 

Papadopoulos: I would like to  point out that our side, for quite a while has been seeking and has made a written appeal to the Secretary-General of the United Nations to reconvene talks on the basis of the Annan plan, with a view to reuniting our island before our accession to the European Union on May 1, 2004 .  In New York the resumption of direct talks has been agreed upon.  Whether they will succeed  or not will depend on a change in the attitude of the position of the Turkish side and on whether it will demonstrate the necessary political will.

In the same spirit and with the complete unanimity  of the political leaders who accompanied me as well as of the Government of Greece, we came to these talks in New York .

From the first moment in my meetings with the Secretary-General and his associates we submitted our proposals, repeating the ones I had submitted in Brussels , as well as the new suggestions in the basis of the documents that had been placed before us by the Secretary-General and his associates.

I would like to point out the following:

(Note: the last two constitute an important improvement in the Annan letter of 4/2/2004 )

The inter-communal negotiations are broadened with the presence of Greece and Turkey in a role of cooperation and support of the efforts for a finalization of the negotiations and resolution of the Cyprus problem.  The broadened negotiations will always be conducted under the auspices of the United Nations and within the framework of the Secretary-Generalís good offices.

According to assurances given by the Secretary-General, the submission of the final plan to the Security Council, according to standard practice, will be made before its finalization and the Secretary-General he, himself mentioned that he is the guardian of the Charter of the United Nations and of the decisions of the Security Council.

Our side has demonstrated complete unanimity and I wish to express my deep appreciation to the political leaders that accompanied me to New York , Mr Demetris Christofias, Mr Nikos Anastasiades and Mr Yiannakis Omirou, as well as Foreign Minister, Mr George Iacovou and Government Spokesman, Mr Kypros Chrysostomides as well as the government officers for their substantial support.  I want to make special mention to former President of the Republic Mr Glafkos Clerides for his continuing support and his presence in all the meetings with the Secretary-General and his advisers.  His very important contribution must be recognised by all and I do this first, from the bottom of my heart.  The unity was complete, and there was no shade of disagreement.

Furthermore, our cooperation with the Prime Minister of Greece, Mr Costas Simitis, was also very close and I was in constant contact with him, and the Government of Greece in general, as well as  with the representatives of Greece here.  Our positions were the same.  I express my thanks to Mr Simitis, the Greek Government, as well as the leader of the opposition, Mr Costas  aramanlis.

Our side will continue, with the same positive attitude, to seek a solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of the Annan plan and the accession of a reunited Cyprus to the European Union on 1 May.     

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