24 April, 2008
Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou stressed on Wednesday that the Greek Cypriot side will not discuss the Cyprus problem on the basis of a UN-proposed solution plan, which it rejected in a referendum four years ago.
Commenting on remarks by Ozdil Nami, adviser to Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, that negotiations for a solution will be on the basis of the Annan plan, Stephanou said the position of the Greek Cypriot side is well known.
''The position of our side and that of the government is well known. We are not engaging in talks on the basis of the Annan plan. Our side is participating with its own positions in the dialogue which has begun at the working groups and the technical committees,'' he pointed out.
Six working groups and seven technical committees, comprised of experts from the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities, are currently engaged in discussions of substantive issues as well as day to day concerns that affect the people. The purpose of the exercise is to prepare the ground for substantive negotiations between the leaders of the two communities, who have agreed to meet in three months' time to review the progress achieved by these preparatory discussions.
In an interview with the daily newspaper ''Phileleftheros'', Nami said the aim of the Turkish Cypriot side was for negotiations to be held on the basis of the Annan plan.
''We are beginning a process. There will be discussions, dialogue. We have said that it is very likely to have problems in this dialogue, given the differences in our positions,'' he said, adding that ''we should be patient, the dialogue will continue.''
Efforts to reunite Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion, have been rekindled in the past several weeks, following an agreement between President Demetris Christofias and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Ali Talat.
In April 2004, the Greek Cypriot side rejected a UN-sponsored solution plan, called the Annan plan, by an overwhelming majority, while the Turkish Cypriot side accepted it by a majority vote. The UN had said, prior to the referenda, that failure to have the plan approved by both communities will render it null and void.
Source: Athens News Agency