‘Significant Differences’ remain
in solving Cyprus Problem
The Greek Cypriot side wants the European Union acquis communautaire (click the link for explanation) to be implemented in its entirety across the island, without permanent derogations, to the benefit of both communities, the [GC] government said on Tuesday.
“It is also our conviction that respect of bi-zonality does not clash with basic human rights,” [GC] deputy government spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos said in a written statement.
The statement followed comments made by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci that permanent derogations from the acquis should be viewed as a “natural right” of Turkish Cypriots instead of a restriction to the rights of Greek Cypriots or other EU nationals.
In an interview with daily Kibris newspaper, Akinci was asked whether permanent derogations would be needed in case bi-zonality was guaranteed in the criteria for property.
“We want some provisions of the agreement to become primary law of the EU… we know that the permanent derogations are something which is not very popular in the EU, but in spite of this some countries secured these derogations when carrying out their accession negotiations to the EU,” he said, according to a transcript supplied by the public information office.
Akinci said there was talk of temporary derogations for Turkish Cypriots “but being primary law is very important. The Turkish Cypriot community must find the ways of being able to have the majority of property ownership and population in its own area. In this sense, understanding should be shown to our sensitivities…”
Papadopoulos said the comments confirmed what President Nicos Anastasiades had recently said that there was still a long way to go in the reunifications talks and great difficulties to overcome.
“It is obvious… that there are significant differences in issues relating to the procedure to solve the Cyprus problem and its substance,” Papadopoulos said.
Speaking at an event later on Tuesday, Anastasiades said the Greek Cypriot side sought to secure the right of every Cypriot citizen to select their place of residence and work.
“For them to choose where to live in a state that will secure their rights in the framework, as has been agreed, of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation,” he said.
“What we are trying to secure are the four basic freedoms but also the human rights of all the people, the right of free movement, settlement, right to work, and in general, the right of every citizen of a European country to move freely without restrictions.”
He added that Cyprus’ participation in the European Union created the conditions and afforded the safeguards to implement a real reunification of the territory, the institutions, and the people.
“Our accession to the EU is a privilege for the country that we ought to ensure for all residents of our island,” he said.
Last month, the Turkish Cypriot leader said the goal was to create a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, and at the same time to abide by the rules, principles and values of the EU.
“So, we need to combine the two. We want to create a European federal state but this needs to be bi-zonal, and bi-communal,” he said.
He said this would mean each community would have the majority in terms of population and property ownership.
“We cannot have a situation where Turkish Cypriots will be governing their area and at the same time be a minority in their own area,” he said.
The two sides have agreed on the creation of an independent property commission to handle the thorny issue under a solution.
Akinci and President Anastasiades have agreed that the individual’s right to property would be respected and people would be offered different options to make sure this right was fulfilled.
Source: Cyprus Mail – Read the original article and more news by clicking the link