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    Greek Cypriot leader opposes confederation of separate states

    HotNewsTurkey with wires
    07.10.2008 - 14:40 | Son Güncelleme:

    Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias said Tuesday a future confederation of two separate states on the ethnically-divided island would be an unacceptable solution.

    Christofias said the Greek Cypriots “will not accept a future confederation”, which Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat hinted should form the backbone of any reunification deal. 

    Divided by arguments over territory, property, governance and power-sharing, the leaders will continue discussions on the latter two issues this Friday.

    "It was decided that a federation with two communities would be set up," Christofias told reporters during a visit to the Bulgarian capital Sofia, where he met Bulgarian President Georgy Parvanov.

    "But the Turkish Cypriot leader "is insisting that (more) authority be given to these two communities within the federation, which would effectively undermine the central government," he added.

    "We believe there is one people made up of two communities, whereas he (Talat) is talking about two different peoples. That's a significant obstacle," he said.

    Christofias said the calls from Talat for two separate politically equal states posed a major obstacle to the reunification process.

    "I feel huge disappointment," he said, adding the two sides still held diverging views.

    Christofias added he was optimistic about the outcome of the talks despite the problems.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1964 when Turkish Cypriots were forced to withdraw into enclaves.

    The launch of negotiations marked the first major push for peace since the failure of a U.N. reunification plan in 2004, which was approved by Turkish Cypriots but overwhelmingly rejected by the Greek Cypriots.

     

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