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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 06-05-05

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos met in Egypt, where he is paying an official visit, with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi and with the Patriarch of Alexandria and All of Africa Theodoros B.

    After his meeting with Papadopoulos the Grand Imam said that Egypt and all Arabic countries recognize only the Republic of Cyprus.

    He added that Egypt believes in justice and international law and that is why the religious institution that he is heading, Al Azajr fully supports the positions of the Cyprus Republic on the Cyprus question.

    Asked what the Cyprus Republic will do if Turkey will not open its ports and airports to the Republic, he said it is up to the EU to see that any country which applies "to join the EU first of all primarily has to obey regulations and the laws of the EU".

    Cyprus Foreign Ministry Permanent Secretary Sotos Zackheos said that Papadopoulos invited the Grand Imam to Cyprus, to attend an Inter-religious conference to which EU and Asian countries will participate.

    After the meeting, Papadopoulos visited the mosque and the palace of Muhammad Ali.

    Later on Papadopoulos visited the church of Saint George in Cairo, escorted by his spouse and the rest of his entourage.

    He was received by Patriarch Theodoros B, who expressed hope that justice and a settlement will be achieved in Cyprus.

    He added that that Patriarchate of Alexandria stands by the President of Cyprus and the Cyprus people.

    Later on a ceremony was held at the tomb of Patriarch Petros VII, who with another 16 persons, clergy and laymen, who were killed on September 11, 2004 when the helicopter they were on board crashed into the sea, off Greece`s northern coast, near Mount Athos.

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