Talks between opposition parties on the issue of property in Cyprus seem to be progressing well...

Cyprus President Demetris Christofias said on Tuesday that the Republic of Cyprus expects the Turkish Cypriot side to respect the right of refugees to decide what to do with their own properties.

Christofias, who was giving a lecture at the Political Science Department of the Belgrade University, referred to the direct talks for a Cyprus settlement and the issue of properties.

"Our position is clear, the rights of the displaced to their properties is sine qua non. These rights are safeguarded through international and European treaties, international law and the decisions of international courts of law.

"We are defending this principle and we expect the Turkish Cypriot community to respect, in its proper dimension, the right of the legal owners of property to decide if they wish to resettle in their property, exchange it for another property or get compensation."


The issue of property is currently being discussed during the UN-led talks, which underway in Cyprus, between Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.

The president said it had been clarified with Talat that the basis of a solution will provide for a bizonal bicommunal federation with a single citizenship, sovereignty and international identity, with political equality, as set out in UN resolutions.

Turkey, he added, wants the creation of two states in Cyprus. Christofias said he remained optimistic and that there has been convergence on many issues during the direct negotiations.

 Wednesday, February 25, 2009