During his new year message, President Tassos Papadopoulos of Greek Cyprus denounced statements made on Cyprus by the Turkish Chief of General Staff General Hilmi Ozkok, which defended Ankara's rights and interests in Cyprus, the online news service Financial Mirror reported on Wednesday. According to the source, Ozkok said this was the cornerstone of Turkey's security in the Eastern Mediterranean and one of the basic pillars of Ankara's security strategy.
In reply to Ozkok's remarks Papadopoulos said, "These are old views which we do not accept. We reject such notions."
From the report:
The President, meanwhile, condemned ''the illegal abduction'' of Cypriot Euro MP Marios Matsakis by the Turkish Cypriot regime in the occupied north and his subsequent presentation before a Turkish military court.
President Papadopoulos said that the courts, ''released Matsakis under the pretext of recognizing his parliamentary immunity'' and not out of a sense of duty but rather because they had to do it.
Matsakis said after his release that he would report his arrest to the President and the Plenary of the Europarliament. He told reporters that the Cyprus Police are examining a criminal case of abduction.
President Papadopoulos also said obstacles raised by the regime with regard to quality control of products transported from the occupied north to the free areas are further proof that Turkish Cypriot demands for direct trade with the EU have no other purpose than to obtain political gains.
''They are not willing to accept that those products have to be examined by the competent authorities of the Republic before being exported and they prefer, for political reasons, to send their products to England, instead of having them tested at the government laboratories, a mere five kilometers away,'' from the place of production, he said.
These tactics, he pointed out, ''are first and foremost a violation of the EU Green Line Regulation and secondly a political statement to highlight the separate entity of the illegal regime,'' Papadopoulos added.
Papadopoulos warns against ill-prepared talks
President Papadopoulos also warned against any new initiative for a political solution which is not well-prepared, pointing out that possible failure to reach a negotiated settlement would send the wrong signals.
''It is not too difficult to resume negotiations but without good preparation of the agenda and the issues to be discussed, such an initiative could soon collapse and lead to a deadlock,'' he said.
Any such eventuality would send the message to the international community that the Cyprus problem cannot be resolved and that division is a feasible option.
The government, he added, is doing its best, away from the public limelight to ensure that a new initiative for a solution is well prepared in order to have good prospects of success.