Spokesman briefs House President on state of affairs at Cyprus talks

Spokesman briefs House President on state of affairs at Cyprus talks

Acting President of the Republic and President of the House of Representatives Yiannakis Omirou met here today Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides who briefed him on the latest developments in the ongoing Cyprus peace talks, focusing on the properties` issue.

In statements after the meeting, Omirou stressed the need to remain committed to the basic goals of the negotiations which he said include the end of the Turkish military occupation of 37% of Cyprus` territory, the abolition of the 1960 guarantees and the departure of all illegal immigrants. The solution, he said, must safeguard the unity of the state, its people, its institutions and its economy and must fully implement international and European conventions on human rights and fundamental freedoms and there should be no permanent derogations from the EU acquis communautaire.

Omirou pointed out that the solution must not become EU primary law since this comes in conflict with Protocol 10 of Cyprus’ Accession Treaty to the EU.

The solution must ensure the continuation of the Republic of Cyprus in a federal system and exclude a `virgin birth` model, he added.

As regards the property issue, currently on the negotiating table, Omirou said that the regulations and principles of international and European law must be implemented.

The rightful owner, he noted, should have the first say and stressed that the current user of a property, who is usurping illegally property in the northern Turkish occupied areas under military force cannot morally and above all legally have equal rights and choices as the lawful owner of the property.

Omirou referred to Law 139/91 of the Republic of Cyprus on the Turkish Cypriot properties, noting that according to the law, the Turkish Cypriots maintain their property ownership, while the Guardian of the Turkish Cypriot properties (who is the Minister of the Interior of the Republic) only has the responsibility and authority to manage the property until the end of the unstable situation on the island.

In his statements, Christodoulides referred to the properties` issue discussed in the framework of the Cyprus talks, stressing that the two sides have agreed on the respect of an individual`s right to property.

“This is a very important development, given the Turkish position for a full exchange of property and thus abolition of the right to property”, he underlined.

The Spokesman said that for the moment there is a discussion on the specific criteria governing the issue of properties and that the firm position of the Greek Cypriot side is that the lawful owner should have the first say.

Omirou said he asked for a briefing of the House of Representatives on behalf of the President of the Republic on the course of the Cyprus negotiations, saying that the Parliament must be kept informed about the talks and the proposals submitted at the table.

The Spokesman said the President would meet that request and added that the President also plans to convene the National Council, his top advisory body on the handling of the Cyprus issue, after the summer break.

During the meeting, Christodoulides informed the House President about the recent visit of the Israeli Prime Minister to Cyprus.