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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-09-09

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Dora Bakoyiannis has reaffirmed the support of Greece and the country`s political forces to efforts towards a solution of the Cyprus problem, noting that they look forward to the successful outcome of the direct negotiations which are now beginning between the two sides in Cyprus.

    Speaking after a meeting in Athens with her Cypriot counterpart Marcos Kyprianou, Bakoyiannis said communication, understanding and cooperation between Athens and Nicosia are continuous, substantial and fruitful, and will be enhanced whenever necessary.

    She expressed reserved optimism for a Cyprus settlement in the current international circumstances and reiterated that Turkey`s EU accession course is affected by the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Bakoyiannis said the solution should be ``fair, viable and functional, in line with UN Security Council decisions and EU principles and values,`` and should produce a ``bizonal bicommunal federation with a single sovereignty, citizenship and international identity, without occupation troops.``

    She furthermore referred to the EU role and contribution to the negotiating process, noting that it is ``undoubtedly of great importance.``

    ``We have no illusions. The road ahead is uphill and difficult, but we are determined,`` she said, adding that the Cypriot leadership has reaffirmed the will of the Greek Cypriot side for ``sincere and constructive negotiations.``

    Bakoyiannis expressed hope that the Turkish Cypriot leadership would attend negotiations with ``the same modesty and good will,`` and that Turkey ``will encourage the Turkish Cypriot side in this direction.``

    Kyprianou said ``what was being said publicly by the other side will be tested at the negotiating table,`` adding that ``some positive things were heard in the period leading to the talks with public statements by the other side.``

    He expressed the gratitude of the people of Cyprus for the support received from Greece in the struggle for a settlement, noting that Greece was especially helpful in Cyprus` EU accession negotiations.

    Kyprianou said the Greek Cypriot side was entering the negotiations with ``reserved optimism but from the moment the dialogue begins we believe there is a prospect for solving the problem, as long as the necessary good will is shown.``

    ``The basis of the solution is agreed on and it must comply with Security Council resolutions, the acquis communautaire, the EU values, the high level agreements, the bizonal bicommunal federation, a single sovereignty, citizenship and international identity,`` he pointed out.

    He said ``the federal Cyprus should be the continuation and evolution of the Republic of Cyprus, which is a member of the UN and the EU, into a new federal system, which will safeguard the rights of Greeks and Turks.``

    Kyprianou assured that the Greek Cypriot side was attending the negotiations with good will, noting however that the process will be difficult, there will be problems, but what counts is ``insistence to overcome the obstacles and move towards the aim, which is a solution.``


    Cypriot track and field athlete Antonis Aresti won the silver medal in the 200m T46 race, having clocked in with 22.15, at the Beijing Paralympic Games.

    The gold medal went to Francis Heath and the bronze to Ettiam Calderon. Cyprus is now ranking 24th in the medal chart, with one gold and one silver medal.

    Aresti will also compete on Thursday in the 400m T46 semifinals. The Cypriot athlete lost the full use of his left arm after an accident when he was a child that caused severed nerves.

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