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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-09-02

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    House President Demetris Christofias has said that the National Council should give a clear mandate to President Tassos Papadopoulos, reiterating its commitment to a settlement of a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    The Council, the top advisory body to the President on the question of Cyprus, will convene on Monday, two days before a meeting between Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.

    We have the strong view that the National Council must renew its commitment to a settlement of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, that will be based on the high level agreements, UN resolutions, international and European law, Christofias stressed in a speech at a memorial service.

    He underlined that such a solution will free Cyprus from the Turkish occupation, restore and safeguard human rights and fundamental freedoms and reunite Cyprus, its people, its institutions and the economy.

    Christofias also said that a settlement tantamount to a division of the island was unacceptable and the worst and most destructive option for the country.

    We reject division and we struggle for the right federal settlement. It is crystal clear for us that federation provides for the political equality of the two communities, as determined in the UN resolutions, he added and underlined that we say yes to a federal settlement with the right content that will make it functional and will serve the interests of all Cypriots.

    As regards political developments in Turkey, he expressed the view that they will inevitably affect Cyprus, noting that the victory of Recep Tayiip Erdogans party in the recent elections and the election of Abdullah Gul to the Presidency constitute a blow for the military Kemalist status quo.

    He said we must remain vigilant and monitor developments, expressing hope that the Cyprus question has not served as a bargaining chip between the military and the politicians in Turkey.

    Furthermore, he underlined that we have to be ready, both Cyprus and Greece, to address new moves by the Turkish government aiming to show that Turkey is a step ahead of us.

    Papadopoulos and Talat meet September 5 under the terms of a UN-brokered agreement in July last year, which aims at preparing the ground for substantive negotiations leading to a comprehensive settlement that would reunite Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.


    Cypriot firemen, who joined forces with Greek firefighters in the past five days to combat the huge blazes in Greece, have been honoured in a special ceremony by the Greek government, before their return to Cyprus. On Sunday, the Cypriot firemen laid a wreath at a monument for firemen killed on duty.

    The ceremony was held in Chalandri, in the presence of Greek Minister of Public Order Viron Polydoras, the Ambassador of Cyprus to Greece Giorgos Georgis and the Chief of the Fire Department Andreas Kois. Polydoras handed over honorary certificates to the 168 participants in the Cypriot mission and thanked them for their valuable help. Once again the fraternal relations between Cyprus and Greece have been reaffirmed, Polydoras said. Georgis thanked Polydoras for his words and said that the Cypriot firemen had become the apostles of Cyprus in Greece.

    Meanwhile a team of five Cypriot technocrats has left for Greece, with a view to evaluate the extensive damage suffered in Artemida village in Peloponnesus, during the recent fires that caused devastation across the country. The mission flies to Greece following a Cyprus government decision to undertake the cost of rebuilding Artemida.

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