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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 April, 2004, 22:53 GMT 23:53 UK
In quotes: Cyprus reunification fails
Turkish Cypriot woman voting
Turkish Cypriots hope their international isolation will end
More than three-quarters of Greek Cypriots have voted against a UN plan to reunite the island, ignoring international pressure to do so.

Turkish Cypriots, in contrast, endorsed the plan with a 65% majority.

But both sides had to approve the proposals for Cyprus to be reunified in time for EU membership on 1 May.

Here is a selection of quotes from the main players.


Greek Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos:

Tonight there are no winners or losers. It is certainly not a night for a celebration.

I should emphasise that the Greek Cypriots have not rejected the solution of the Cyprus problem. They are not turning their backs on their Turkish Cypriot compatriots.

They have simply rejected this particular solution on offer.

We shall work for a bi-zonal bi-communal federation as a solution that will meet the hopes and expectations of both communities.


Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat:

We abided by our commitments. It is now the turn of the international community to prepare proposals... to alleviate or remove the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.

The Turkish Cypriot people can no longer be seen as separatist or intransigent.


Turkish Cypriot President Rauf Denktash:

There must be no uncertainty caused by futile attempts to force incompatible parties together.

This is a good outcome.

I acted in a bid to save our state. The state has been saved. Therefore there is no reason for me to resign.


UN Secretary General Kofi Annan:

The goal of the effort over the last four and a half years has been to bring about reunification so as to enable a reunited Cyprus to join the European Union. That goal has not been achieved.

A unique and historic chance to resolve the Cyprus problem has been missed.

The secretary general intends to give careful thought to the implications of today's result. Meanwhile, Cyprus will remain divided and militarised as it accedes to the European Union, and the benefits of a settlement will not be realised.


European Commission:

The European Commission deeply regrets that the Greek Cypriot community did not approve the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, but it respects the democratic decision of the people.

A unique opportunity to bring about a solution to the long-lasting Cyprus issue has been missed.

This signals a clear desire of the [Turkish Cypriot] community to resolve the island's problems. The commission is ready to consider ways of further promoting economic development of the northern part of Cyprus.


US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher:

We are disappointed that a majority of Greek Cypriots voted against the settlement plan. Failure of the referendum in the Greek Cypriot community is a setback to the hopes of those on the island who voted for the settlement and to the international community.

We commend all who voted to approve the plan - particularly a large majority of Turkish Cypriots - for their courage and their vote for peace and reconciliation.


UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw:

We will respect the choice which Greek Cypriots have expressed today. But I hope that they will continue to reflect on whether this choice is the right one for them.

I am glad that the Turkish Cypriot community has voted so clearly for the settlement.

I understand very well their wish to end their isolation in the world, to join with Greek Cypriots in a reunified island, and to move together into the European Union which is the best guarantee for the future of their collective security and prosperity.

I want them to know that this remains our goal too, and that we will continue to work for its ultimate realisation.


Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan:

I believe that as of today the political isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people has come to an end.

In my view, southern Cyprus is the loser.


Greek government spokesman Theodoris Roussopoulos:

In the framework of the European Union... it will be in the interest of everyone to continue efforts to reconcile Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.





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