South’s government and Archbishop speak out on Maras

Greek Cypriot newspapers yesterday published interviews with government spokesman Christos Stylianidis and Archbishop Chrisotomos.

The Archbishop warned the government to be careful when dealing with the Turkish Cypriots. He said that the proposal that Maras be handed over to the South was made to see how well-intentioned the Turkish Cypriots were. He added that they had to hand over Maras and that if they did, it would be well regarded.

However he warned against any attempt by the North to use the handover of Maras as a legitimisation of its nation.

The Archbishop concluded by saying that the Turks did not and would not have good intentions. They were only interested in taking.

Separately, Mr Stylianidis said that he could not understand the Turkish silence on the Greek Cypriot proposals that Maras be handed back unconditionally and before negotiations start in October. He said that this would be a good confidence building measure.

When asked about the potential of linking the  handover of Maras to the recognition of Ercan airport, he replied that this was not possible, in fact it was not even being discussed by the government.

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