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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-08-04

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias has assured that even if Turkey insists on its intransigent positions, the Greek Cypriot side will insist on defending the fundamental principles for a viable, fair and agreed solution to the Cyprus issue.

    In statements at the end of a memorial service for Cyprus first president, the late Archbishop Makarios III, President Christofias said that the Turkish side might insist on its intransigent positions, however we will be firm, putting forward all our points of arguments to defend the fundamental principles of a solution that will be viable and just, under the circumstances, and an agreed solution, so that it can be approved by the entirety of the people of Cyprus.

    The effort is hard, said President Christofias, noting that in the course of the negotiations we will face many obstacles and unwavering positions from Turkey. However, there is no other alternative than the peace process and insistence on principles, he stressed.

    Asked if recent developments in Turkey will have a positive effect on Cyprus, President Christofias noted that the situation is still fluid but hoped that they will lead to a victory for democracy on those forces which look to the past and are guided by the past so that the people of Turkey and Cyprus can look forward to the future.

    He expressed the hope that democracy will prevail in Turkey.

    Answering questions, the President appeared almost certain that a crossing point to and from the islands northern Turkish occupied areas at Limnitis, on the northwest, will open. Efforts are underway, he added, with the UN to overcome certain obstacles which, he said, are neither fair, nor right nor of a technical nature.

    On the interruption of a church service at the Turkish occupied monastery of Apostolos Varnavas, President Christofias said that this was one of the results of the continuing Turkish occupation and added that he had telephoned Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat who promised to solve the issue, provided the two priests who were conducting the service had secured prior permission from the UN.

    It seems that Mr. Talat has not managed to settle the issue, Christofias said, adding we will handle difficulties and fight to overcome them.

    Referring to the guidelines for a solution which the late Archbishop Makarios III has left, President Christofias said they are none other than the end of occupation, the termination of illegal settlement of the occupied areas and the reunification of the island within the framework of a bizonal, bicommuinal federation, which will secure the freedoms and human rights of the people of Cyprus.

    On July 25 Christofias and Talat decided to start full-fledged negotiations on September 3, with the aim to reach a ``mutually accepted solution to the Cyprus problem which will safeguard the fundamental and legitimate rights and interests of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots``.

    They also instructed their Representatives «to take up the issue of Limnitis/Yesilirmak and other crossings».

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.


    Two boats with a total of forty peace activists from the Free Gaza Movement will be setting sail from Cyprus for Gaza later in the week, with an aim to break the Israeli siege and tell the people there that the world has not forgotten them.

    The boats are on their way to Cyprus to pick up the activists, including Israelis, and are carrying nothing more dangerous than 5,000 balloons that say ``Free Palestine`` on them.

    Speaking at a press conference in Nicosia, cofounder of the Free Gaza Movement Greta Berlin said the initiative began two years ago with an aim to cultivate awareness about the situation in Gaza and that this was the first attempt to approach Gaza.


    The Canadian team has won the gold medal at the International Beach Volley competition of FIVB (International Volleyball Federation), organised in Cyprus for the third time.

    Anouk Boileau and Marie-Christine Mondor of Canada captured the Cyprus womens gold medal beating with 2-0 set (21-17, 21-13) the Slovenian team.

    The third FIVB Challenger event was held from July 30 to August 2. The event was organised by the Cyprus Volleyball Federation and the Municipality of Geroskipou, on the west, near the coastal town of Paphos.

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