Turkish-Cypriot Proposals Rejected
The latest proposals tabled by the Turkish-Cypriot side have been rejected by the government as a basis for discussions to solve the Cyprus problem, said government spokesman Stephanos Stephanou speaking after the National Council convened this morning.
"The proposals are a communications (PR) game from Turkey and the common realisation is that they are unacceptable within the context of a bi-zonal federation," said Stephanou.
The National Council will meet again on Friday morning to for further discussions after the first in a three-day series of intensive talks on Monday 11th. The contentious proposals were submitted to President Demetris Christofias by UN special representative Alexander Downer earlier this week and centred around the issues of governance and power sharing.
At stake are the questions of the voting system in a bi-zonal federation, and how power-sharing systems such as a rotating presidency would work in practice.
Diplomatic sources said that the tabled six-page package proposes that the president and vice president in a federal Cyprus would have the authority to veto decisions made by the Cabinet. Another proposal is that the Turkish-and-Greek-Cypriot component states would have their own flight information regions or FIRs and there is reportedly a reference to Turkish settlers, who would have the right to work, buy property and settle in the Turkish-Cypriot component state.
The Turkish-Cypriot side has reportedly asked for rotating presidency and vice presidency – 3 years for Greek Cypriots and 2 years term for Turkish Cypriots – with veto power. They also propose the right to free movement for Turkish citizens before accession to the European Union, and demilitarization of the island.
"There is no basis for dialogue in the proposals," said DISY chief Nikos Anastassiades.
His position was supported by the heads of other political parties, with DIKO head Marios Garoyian saying that the proposals cannot be a basis for discussion, and EVROKO chief Demetris Syllouris saying that 'our side must return the proposals as unacceptable.'