Cyprus government rejects Turkish proposal for five-party conference

The Cyprus government rejected on Wednesday a Turkish proposal for a five-party conference under the United Nations’ supervision to discuss a solution of the Cyprus problem.

Cyprus President and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias stated that the proposal was reminiscent of a procedure followed in 2003, which resulted in a UN plan rejected by 74 percent of Greek Cypriot voters as one-sided. 

He was commenting on a proposal made by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon during a meeting in Rome on Tuesday, to call a conference involving Turkey, Greece, Britain and the Greek Cypriot, Turkish Cypriot communities as a way to speed up a Cyprus solution.

All three countries are guarantors of the Cyprus Republic under a 1960 agreement which led to Cyprus’ independence from British colonial rule. Turkey, one of the three guarantors, sent troops to Cyprus and occupied its northern part in 1974 following a coup inspired by Greek military junta. President Christofias accused Turkey of trying to gain publicity instead of working towards a Cyprus solution.

“Turkey has entered a publicity game, pretending to seek solutions and to make proposals and at the same time Turkish officials accuse me personally of obstructing a solution of the Cyprus problem,” he said.

Christofias added that such a five-party meeting means downgrading of the Republic of Cyprus, which cannot be accepted.

Greek and Turkish Cypriots are currently involved in negotiations which have been going on for more than a year in an effort to reach a settlement on the Cyprus problem.

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