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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-08-02

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias enters direct negotiations scheduled to commence September 3, with good will and readiness to work hard and with an aim to achieve an honest and reasonable compromise on the Cyprus issue, Government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou has said.

    The Cypriot official was addressing Saturday the funeral ceremony of Christophorou Savva Yiatrou, who was missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus` northern part, and whose remains were recently found in a mass grave in the Turkish-occupied areas and identified by DNA method.

    Greek Cypriots have been missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and Turkish Cypriots since the early 60s when inter-communal fighting broke out. In the recent past, the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) in Cyprus, which is engaged in efforts to establish the fate of those missing, has exhumed and identified the remains of many of those people but information about those, last seen alive in the hands of the Turkish military, is scarce as Ankara refuses to open its archives for investigation.

    The Government Spokesman stressed that a solution to the long-standing Cyprus problem should safeguard the rights and best interests of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

    The achievement of a Cyprus solution that will end Turkish occupation and reunite Cyprus is a debt inherited to us by the struggles and sacrifices of our heroes, Stefanou noted.

    Thirty-four years after Turkeys invasion in Cyprus, the problem remains unsolved because of Ankaras refusal to cooperate with the aim to achieve a solution serving the best interests of all Cypriots, he added.

    We are currently living a period of renewed hope and optimism regarding a solution, Stefanou said and pointed out that the agreement to begin direct negotiations was reached as a result of the clarification of the solution basis, achieved during the meetings between Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.

    Before a decision was taken, the two leaders took into consideration the progress achieved by the technical committees and working groups comprising Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriot experts.

    Our positions are just and logical driven by the philosophy of reunification and are based on the UN Resolutions, International and European law and the agreed basis of a bizonal bicommunal federation, Stefanou stressed.

    Furthermore, the Government Spokesman said we aim to one state, with a single sovereignty, identity and international personality. We aim to a state which will provide for political equality of both communities according to UN resolutions, and that will restore and safeguard the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the whole people.

    Stefanou expressed hope that during the direct talks, the Turkish Cypriot community would demonstrate equally good will and that Turkey would also show willingness to cooperate in the effort to reach a viable and workable settlement. Thus, the road to a solution will open, he concluded.


    Cyprus Presidential Commissioner George Iacovou has said there is no particular major obstacle to the opening of Limnitis crossing, and expressed hope that there will be a development on this issue.

    The problems faced are technical problems and they will be resolved in the future as they cannot be settled right now, Iacovou said, while responding to a question he said that the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) is preparing a military report, which it presents.

    He noted that UNFICYP presented its report recently and there is no military impediment as regards the peacekeeping force, he added.

    Iacovou noted that he will discuss this issue during the meetings he will have with Turkish Cypriot leaders aide Ozdil Nami, adding that their meeting will continue during August as well, despite the fact that Working Groups and Technical Committees will not meet August 1-21, as this is a vacation period.

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