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Morphou refugees call for abolition of guarantees

Acting President of the House Adamos Adamou receives a delegation from the Morphou Municipality headed by mayor Charalambos Pittas

THOSE who think of, or deal with plans to maintain foreign guarantees in Cyprus, insult Europe and the United Nations, Morphou’s refugee mayor Charalambos Pittas declared on Tuesday.

Pittas, accompanied by members of the municipal council and representatives of political parties and organisations, visited the embassies of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to present a resolution marking the 42nd anniversary of the town’s occupation by the Turkish Army. The document was also handed to the offices of the European Commission and the European Parliament in Nicosia.

In the resolution, Morphou refugees call on the United Nations and the European Union to pressure Turkey to change its stance and cooperate toward a just settlement of the Cyprus problem, but also for the restoration of basic human rights for all Cypriots.

Cyprus, the resolution said, “should remain an independent, unitary state with a single sovereignty, international personality and territorial integrity.”

It added that the settlement should not give any country the right to intervene in the internal affairs of the state and that Cyprus should not be a hostage of Turkey or other foreign interests.

“We claim the inalienable right of (our) return, we send the message to all directions … Cyprus is a full member of the EU and the UN thus it does not require guarantees of any foreign country, especially from Turkey,” Pittas said.

Guarantees are outdated, he said, and simply those who think of, or deal with plans for foreign guarantees, “insult Europe and the UN”.

He added that the delegation also met with the British High Commissioner in Cyprus, Matthew Kidd, with whom they discussed the latest developments as regards the negotiations process.

“It was the most important meeting we had. We stressed that we are concerned by the intransigence of the other side, especially of Turkey… and for the positions projected, rejecting the return of Morphou” as part of a solution, Pittas said.

He added that the High Commissioner agreed that no such guarantees are necessary, but that they just have to wait and see what the two sides will agree on, which will be accepted by the UK.

Kidd, Pittas said, believes that there is a serious discussion underway (between the two leaders) which has nothing to do with what is being heard.

The presentation of the resolution to the embassies, came a day after the breakaway regime in the north issued an announcement condemning the statements of DISY head Averof Neophytou on Sunday. Neophytou had said that there can be no solution without the return of Morphou.

An announcement of the foreign affairs ‘ministry’ in the north, said on Monday that such statements make clear that the real intention of the Greek Cypriot side is not a solution.

It added that Morphou is located within the ‘borders’ of the breakaway regime and that it naturally belongs to the Turkish Cypriot side, so there is no question of its return.

The announcement also said that as in many parts in the north, there has been a great effort for the development in Morphou. The goal of the negotiations is not to give land, but wherever deemed necessary, to discuss possible territorial re-arrangements.

It is very unfortunate, it said, and misplaced to issue statements by listing names and putting forward unreasonable demands at a time when efforts to reach a just and viable solution were underway.

“The Greek Cypriot side, by creating a prerequisite, is trying to disrupt the negotiation process,” the statement said, and called for abandoning this attitude which “does not serve a positive purpose”.

As for guarantees, it said that “it is with astonishment that we see that the same statement, despite all our calls and warnings, reflects past Greek Cypriot views that a settlement that safeguards the continuation of motherland Turkey’s guarantees will not be accepted”.

“In this regard, we remind that the guarantee of motherland Turkey as pointed out in the statement was not a precondition that contradicted with the will for a solution. On the contrary, it is an assurance of security against the unjust situation we had experienced in the past as a result of the Greek Cypriot attacks. We once again stress that it is out of the question for the Turkish Cypriot people to approve an agreement which will not include the active and effective guarantee of Turkey,” the statement said.

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