12 May, 2004
Cyprus House of Representatives (parliament) president Demetris Christofias, leader of the AKEL Cyprus communist party, said Tuesday in Athens that his party's goal was the ''development of a dialogue on re-determining the targets in the direction of reunifying Cyprus''.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting with prime minister Costas Karamanlis, which was also attended by foreign minister Petros Molyviatis and deputy foreign minister Yannis Valinakis, Christofias noted that the purpose of the meeting with Karamanlis and AKEL's talks with the president of Cyprus ''is the development of a dialogue for the re-determination of the targets in the direction of Cyprus' reunification''.
Christofias, who arrived in Athens earlier in the day, noted that since 1977 the Greek Cypriots have been committed to the goal of a bizonal, bicommunal federation for Cyprus, and stressed that ''without evading the truth, without delusions and without maximalistic targets, Cyprus will take advantage of its EU accession, attempting to shake off the insecurity of the Greek Cypriots''.
He said that what took precedence at the present stage was to confront the repercussions from the outcome of last month's referendum on the Annan plan, especially the pressures being exerted by Britain, the US and the EU.
"We must explain that the 'no' (the Greek Cypriots' over-whelming rejection of the Annan plan) does not constitute rejection of a solution (to the Cyprus problem). It is our problem. It is our home that has been burnt, and it is we that must rebuild it," Christofias said.
He opined that it would be "difficult for Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots, who voted 'yes' to the Plan, to accept the holding of a second referendum", adding that "the Annan plan is on the table, and we want guarantees on the plan, but also outside the plan, for implementation of the solution".
Christofias further said that any specific changes (to the plan) must be requested jointly with the Turkish Cypriots. As for the issue put forward by the Turkish Cypriots that two of the six seats in the European Parliament allotted to Cyprus remain vacant, Christofias referred to the Europarliament rules of order.
"It was the EU's great desire that Cyprus accede (the EU) reunified and that it not inherit the problem. We must see how we will elicit the active interest of the EU for a solution, given that the Cyprus problem falls under the UN. The EU, however, could provide guarantees for implementation of the solution," Christofias explained.
Source: Athens News Agency