Greek Cypriot side to continue reunification talks: Papadopoulos

XINHUA GENERAL NEWS SERVICE
March 11, 2004, Thursday

Greek Cypriot side to continue reunification talks: Papadopoulos

NICOSIA

Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said on Thursday that his Greek
Cypriot side remains firm in its commitment to continue the current
reunification talks under the auspices of the United Nations.

Papadopoulos made the promise in a written speech to the opening
ceremony of a trade union congress, which was read by Labour and
Social Insurance Minister Iacovos Keravnos.

It is too early and dangerous to draw conclusions on the progress of
the UN-led direct negotiations for a comprehensive settlement to the
Cyprus problem, despite the fact that most of the positions raised by
the Turkish side are contrary to the philosophy and parameters of the
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s plan, Papadopoulos said.

He said that what he can reiterate at this sensitive and important
present juncture is that the Greek Cypriot side remains firm in its
commitment to continue working positively, constructively and
productively with the UN Secretary General on the basis of his plan,
to secure a functional and viable solution to the Cyprus problem.

The Greek Cypriot side is striving for a solution which will secure
the rights of the Turkish Cypriots and will allow them to enjoy the
benefits with the accession to the EU, within the framework of a
reunified Cyprus, the president added.

He stressed that “our firm pursuit and constant concern is and will
remain the creation of a stable, peaceful and safe environment,
necessary for the welfare, progress and well being of all the people
of Cyprus, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and
Latins.”

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey sent troops to take
control of its northern third. The two sides are currently engaged in
talks with a view to reach an agreement that would be put to
referenda, the positive outcome of which would enable a reunited
Cyprus to join the EU in May this year.

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