03 March, 2008
President Demetris Christofias said Sunday he is "more than ready" for a solution in Cyprus, if Turkey is also ready for this.
The President expressed hope that Ankara will shift its policy on Cyprus and accept UN resolutions, the latest UN-brokered agreement in July 2006 between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities on efforts to resume negotiations and international and European law.
"We are not the ones occupying territory of the Republic of Cyprus. Turkey does. Therefore we are the first who want to free our country and honour the sacrifice of those who gave their lives to defend their country," he said after the annual church service in memory of a Greek Cypriot hero who fought against British colonial rule in the mid 1950s.
The President's comments come in response to remarks by the Turkish Prime Minister who called on him to make a good will gesture in order to help reach a political settlement in Cyprus.
"My reply to Mr Erdogan is that we are more than ready, if Turkey is also ready, to find a solution which will end the occupation and will restore the country's independence, territorial integrity, the unity of the Republic of Cyprus in the framework of a federation and human rights of all Cypriots," he stressed.
On reports that the UN have a formula to help open a crossing at Ledra street in Nicosia, to and from the northern Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, President Christofias said he would outline his position on the matter once the UN formally approach him to discuss the issue.
"We are ready, under certain preconditions, to open the crossing point at Ledra street, just as we are ready to open a crossing at Limnitis," on the northwest of the island, he added.
Efforts to open a crossing point at one of Nicosia's most commercial streets, Ledra, have failed so far. The Cyprus government wants to ensure safe passage of pedestrians crossing from and into the occupied areas but the Turkish military refuses to move back from the vicinity.
Source: Athens News Agency