EUROPE > Christofias eyes ports for new EU chapters


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Greek Cyprus President Demetris Christofias calls for the opening of Varosha neighborhood to residences in exchange for opening new EU chapters for Turkey. AFP photo

Greek Cyprus President Demetris Christofias calls for the opening of Varosha neighborhood to residences in exchange for opening new EU chapters for Turkey. AFP photo

Greek Cyprus President Demetris Christofias offered to open several chapters for Turkey during its EU presidency along with allowing Turkish Cypriots to use the Famagusta port for trade in exchange for opening Varosha, a neighborhood in the Cypriot city of Famagusta currently under Turkish military control and closed to residence.

“I intend to revive several chapters with the European Union [during our presidency]. But this has to be with a give-and-take process. This is about Famagusta. The Famagusta port can be opened for Turkish Cypriots so that all citizens in our country can make trade under the U.N. umbrella,” Christofias told daily Milliyet yesterday. He said the second part of this give-and-take process will center around the Varosha neighborhood in the city of Famagusta. He called for the opening of Varosha to residences in exchange for steps taken by Greek Cyprus.

Christofias said they did not wish to be an obstacle standing before Turkey’s EU bid, because “we know that this is not to our benefit as well.” Greek Cypriots head to the polls in February of 2013 to vote for their next president and Christofias has signaled that he may rerun. Citing that he has told his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Derviş Eroğlu to “make progress for a solution,” Christofias said he may rerun for the presidency if they can “enter a solution stage.”

Christofias said they were ready for “a federal solution with a two-community” and that he has also told this to the U.N. Secretary General’s special envoy Alexander Downer. “But [Downer] told us that Turkish Cypriots are not ready [for a federal solution] after he met with Eroğlu. We said first bureaucrats should meet. And then we learn that [Eroğlu’s special envoy] Kudret Özersay resigns,” Christofias told Milliyet.

Share of gas and oil reserves

Speaking on the Greek Cyprus’ initiative of oil and gas search in the eastern Mediterranean, Christofias said he told the U.N. General Assembly that they will be glad to see both sides of the island benefit from these energy reserves. With cooperation and peace both the Turkish Cyprus and Turkey will benefit from the reserves, Christofias said. “Turkey cannot be a transition zone [for the transfer of the energy to Europe] by force.”


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Notice on comments

Chris Green

6/20/2012 5:08:43 PM

NO: The land split will remain as it is now. New CTR passports are being issued this year anyway and so if the Twin-State or a recognised Turkish Cypriot entity does come about then those passports will have primacy and you are right, that entity would not be an EU member, which is also good because Turkey is unlikely to become members either! You rely too heavily on the EU as the panacea for all ills, whereas a Turkic Nations Union could well be formed!

Mark Mark

6/20/2012 1:55:28 PM

@Chris Green -ok,two state scenario,TC's move into a state occupying 18% of the islands land mass representing their population,the remainder will become the RoC consisting of all other Cypriots.The TC's then have to apply to the EU to become a member as it will no longer be EU territory, they will have to relinquish their RoC passports so as not to gain the benefits of the RoC nor the EU. Agree?

Chris Green

6/19/2012 4:50:00 PM

To your credit, Kirios your comments are noted and well made,nevertheless a Twin State 'solution' is the reality and all sides need to build upon that very truth and simply trade!

Kirios Kypros

6/19/2012 2:42:49 PM

Oh dear, I seem to have stirred up a hornets nest here with the Turks and associated British sympathisers!! Listen, I am not one to deny the injustices of the past and wrong doings...I know TC's suffered as well as GC's. It is sad for both sides, i realise, unlike some. But the situation needs to change, we dont now live in the 60s and 70s and we need to move on from that....the partition of Cyprus will never be accepted as a final "solution"

john albay

6/19/2012 12:40:41 PM

@kirious well the greek cypriots were not in any way humanitarians towards us when you were busy kicking us out of our houses or burning them down and killing us turkish cypriots. You forgotten about pushing us into 3% of the island,forgotten about sampson and EOKA B? what about your wish for ENOSIS with greece forgotten that as well? You lost north cyprus so be happy in your mini puppet statetlet the left over of the hi jacked roc. You have lost the chance of reunifacation with your NO vote!!

Chris Green

6/19/2012 11:58:44 AM

Kirios, your people perhaps should not have destroyed 103 Turkish Cypriot villages then you may not have lost any of your own! The entire issue was of your people's making, after all Turkey did not sacrifice 1317 of her sons for some military exercise, it was to prevent what you people under your church were carrying out! I have no sympathy whatsoever for your losses, perceived or otherwise, in fact it is a pity Turkey did not complete the job -permanently as Taksim will be now!

Kirios Kypros

6/19/2012 11:15:30 AM

Many Cypriots would like re-unification because we'd like our villages and our property back! Not too much to ask for is it?


6/18/2012 10:55:09 PM

Greeks rejected a UN plan that addressed all these. He sat and talked with Turkish side for years never reaching an agreement. Now he does not want to be an obstacle? Thats all Greeks are good for, no? He has no choice but be an obstacle. By the way, what re-unification? When were the millets ever "united"? Who wants re-unification? No one. Such nonsense.

Chris Green

6/18/2012 5:04:43 PM

For Cyprus coffee read - Puerto Rican! Why should Turkish Cyprus or indeed Turkey have any goodwill whatsoever to south Cyprus? None at all! The island IS divided and that will be the end of the matter! As for Greece in the soccer game - well this should divert their attentions for a brief time...Inferior game compared to Rugby Union but that is another debate! :-)

Mark Mark

6/18/2012 3:55:03 PM

Why do you all belive that 49 muslim states are about to recognise the north? With so many separatist entities in the Arab League nations, do you honestly believe that the countries would risk tit-for-tat recognition by the RoC? Turkey has most to lose with this strategy and a joined up and recognised Kurdish land will be a formidable force, teraing apart Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran.
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