NICOSIA.- U.S. State Department Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Laura Kennedy, concluded her exploratory visit in Cyprus with a lunch she had with so called Prime Minister of the occupied areas, Mehmet Ali Talat. The lunch was held in a restaurant at the post of the occupied town of Keryneia. Speaking at the journalists, Mehmet Alit Talat said on Saturday, “we expect the United States to take concrete steps for integration of Turkish Cypriot people with the international community.”
Talat also said, “Turkish Cypriots supported United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan’s plan in the referenda on April 24, 2004. Now, they expect the United States to take concrete steps for integration of the TRNC with the international community and for free trade opportunities. We also expect opening of the Ercan Airport for direct international flights.”
He finaly noted that “lifting of isolations and finding a comprehensive solution currently top our agenda.”
On Friday Laura Kennedy met with President Papadopoulos, as well as the Cyprus House President Demetris Christofias.
”I did not come with new initiatives,” Mrs Kennedy told the reporters, after her meetings with President Tassos Papadopoulos and Foreign Minister George Iacovou, adding that her discussions in Cyprus was a very interesting start.
Noting once more her disappointment that the Annan Plan failed on the Greek Cypriot side, Kennedy said she was interested in hearing the government’s views on the issue.
”We have talked a great deal about the central issue of Cyprus in the wake of the failure of the Annan plan in the referendum here. I did not come with new initiatives”, said Kennedy
Kennedy, State Department’s coordinator for Cyprus, was briefed on the Greek Cypriot side’s positions about the failure of the Annan Plan for a settlement, said Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides.
Earlier Iacovou noted that Kennedy has reassured him that the US government is strongly opposing the recognition of any other state in Cyprus, apart from the Cyprus Republic. The Minister said that the US official has expressed her disappointment for the rejection of the Annan Plan by the Greek Cypriot side, noting that the US expects the Greek Cypriot side to clarify its positions.
He said he explained to the US Coordinator that the Greek Cypriot side will submit its proposals once the deliberations of the President with the political parties are over.
In her statement Kennedy said that the agenda of her meetings in Cyprus also includes bilateral and multilateral issues, noting that the US welcomes cooperation with the Cyprus government on fighting terrorism.
”We discussed cooperation in proliferation security initiative, in which we are making progress with your government I am pleased to say,” added Kennedy, noting that she also expects to be briefed on how the Cyprus government is combating trafficking of persons.
”I had the opportunity to analyse the situation both before and after the April 24 simultaneous referenda on a UN comprehensive settlement plan, as well as our position that the Annan plan as it is cannot be put to referendum once again,” Christofias said after the meeting.
He added that he explained to Kennedy that the Greek Cypriot side demands changes to the Annan plan, and that one of the issues are the safeguards regarding the implementation of the solution
”I must say that Kennedy is a good listener but she did not take any position,” Christofias noted.
The House President also said that ”we support a solution to the Cyprus problem and we would be glad if there is movement and of course we analysed the possibilities for a movement.”