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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-10-01

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias has said that the Greek Cypriot side pursues the peaceful reunification of the island on the basis of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.

    He was speaking after the military parade in Nicosia to honour the 48th anniversary of the nations independence.

    Christofias, flanked by Greek National Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis and Cypriot Defence Minister Costas Papacostas, took the salute of the parade, watched by the islands political, military and religious leadership as well as members of the diplomatic corps and thousands of people who waived in pride the Cypriot flag.

    Participating in the parade were infantry, artillery and naval forces and members of the Greek military contingent stationed in Cyprus in accordance with the 1960 Treaty of Establishment of the Republic, the police, the fire brigade, the forestry and the civil defence services. Present were also a military police unit, comprising mainly reservists, and a special unit of commandos, set up 1996, of well trained regular members of the armed forces.


    The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) adopted a resolution by which it welcomes the resumption of fully-fledged negotiations between Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, with a view to reach a settlement of the protracted Cyprus question.

    The Assembly commended the political will and determination shown by the leaders of the two Cypriot communities, President Christofias and Mr Talat, and fully endorses their efforts. It also encourages all parties and countries that are directly or indirectly linked to the Cypriot question to develop and to maintain a climate of reconciliation, confidence and mutual respect, as well as to avoid all action or declarations that could harm the ongoing constructive dialogue and accentuate tensions.

    The resolution was approved by 99 votes in favour, 20 against and 7 abstentions during a debate before the PACE plenary on the report by the Rapporteur on the Situation in Cyprus Joachim Horster. The draft resolution included in Horsters report was approved after the approval of 9 out of the 34 amendments that were tabled. An amendment put forward by Horster himself was also approved.

    In its resolution, the Parliamentary Assembly expressed regret that Cyprus remains one of the last divided countries in Europe, and the only one in the European Union, with its northern part occupied by Turkey since 1974 and reaffirmed its strong commitment to reaching a fair, lasting and comprehensive solution for a peaceful and united Cyprus which would guarantee the legitimate rights of both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, in full compliance with the values and principles of the Council of Europe.

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