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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-12-28

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said here today ``we are in a much better position`` regards efforts to reach Cyprus settlement, adding that despite the Turkish side`s intransigence his government will insist on the implementation of the July 8th Agreement.

    ``I believe that today we are in a much better position, we have built the premise and the alliances with the introduction of the euro,`` President Papadopoulos said replying to questions, recalling that the UN-brokered agreement, in July last year, singed by him and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in the presence of the then UN Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari was achieved ``after our initiatives.``

    ``We will insist on its implementation, especially since it has the support of the permanent members of the UN Security Council,`` the President said, adding that the Turkish side`s refusal to implement the agreement ``is no reason for us to abandon a powerful weapon in our hands.``

    Replying to a comment that the British government`s confidential papers for 1977 released today show that the Turkish side sought recognition of two separate administrations in Cyprus, Papadopoulos said that this was Turkey`s long-standing policy on Cyprus.

    ``Turkey wants with one way or the other, that is through military presence, or through a subordinate authority, to govern a large part of Cyprus but at the same time to have control over the rest part of the island. This was Turkey`s long-standing policy (on Cyprus) and remains so,`` the President noted.

    Attending a gathering for the New Year Eve hosted by the Presidential guard in the Presidential Palace, Papadopoulos conveyed his best wishes for a happy new year.

    The July 8th agreement provides for the establishment of working groups and technical committees to discuss substantive issues and issues that affect the day to day life of the people. This would in turn lead to substantive negotiations towards a political settlement that would reunite the country, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

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