Greek PM rejects Turkish Cypriot proposals on Cyprus issue

The Turkish Cypriot political leadership’s recent proposals on solving the Cyprus issue was unacceptable, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said Monday.

“We want a solution that will end occupation and division in Cyprus, because the Cyprus issue is primarily a problem of occupation by Turkey,” Papandreou said after meeting with visiting Cypriot President Demetris Christofias, who is also the leader of the Greek Cypriot community.

During their meeting, the two leaders agreed that Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat’s idea on future governance on the island would lead to a path different from confederation and could not be discussed.

The Greek premier announced the creation of a legal team that would assist in the best possible interpretation of certain aspects of the Cyprus issue. Christofias welcomed the Greek initiative, noting that it would strengthen further bilateral cooperation and coordination.

Papandreou also reiterated his country’s active support for the continuation of negotiations in Cyprus without timetables and arbitration.

On Greek-Turkish relations, Papandreou said he would respond soon to a letter by his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and invite him to Athens, adding that Greece expected Turkey to fulfill its obligations to the Cyprus Republic.

Christofias thanked Papandreou for accepting an invitation to visit Nicosia soon to attend a meeting on the latest developments on the Cyprus issue.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey militarily intervened and occupied the north of the island following a coup by a group of Greek officers.

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