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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-11-28

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias said on Friday that he was fully satisfied with the results of his official visit to Athens.

    ``The convergence of views regarding the Cyprus problem and the policy to be followed with a view to reaching a just and viable solution to the problem as soon as possible was reconfirmed,`` President Christofias told a press conference at the Union of Foreign Press Correspondents in Greece.

    He described the Cyprus problem as an ``Odyssey,`` assuring however that ``we will keep traveling until we reach Ithaca.``

    The President described the stance of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat as contradictory, noting that ``while in the negotiations table Talat underlines that he does not seek a bi-federal solution all of his proposals tend to a bi-federal model.``

    Christofias said that the Greek Cypriot side has entered the direct negotiations, that commenced early September under the UN auspices, with the sole aim of reaching a mutually accepted solution to the Cyprus problem.

    ``We remain focused on this target. We will keep with the same good will with the same determination and flexibility but with the same consistency on the principles, we will continue to work for the solution of the problem,`` the President added.

    Addressing the Turkish Cypriot leadership, Christofias said that it is necessary to ``respond to our goodwill and submit to the negotiations table rational and negotiable proposals.``

    Expressing the belief that if Turkey shows good will in the negotiations a solution within 2009 is possible, Christofias called on the international community to exert pressure on Ankara.

    He also called on Turkey to understand that it is impossible to aspire to enter the EU while at the same time continue violating the international law, the sovereignty the independence and territorial integrity of an UN and EU member-state.

    ``It is not possible for us to acquiesce to Turkey`s accession to the EU, while it will continue violating international and European legality,`` he stressed.

    Replying to a question, President Christofias said that the exploratory survey in Cyprus` exclusive economic zone (EEZ) continue and will be completed with the next few days, reiterating that ``the Republic of Cyprus has a sovereign right under the Treaty on the Law of the Sea to hold surveys in its EEZ.``

    On November 13 two ships under foreign flag that were conducting an exploratory survey on behalf of Cyprus the Republic of Cyprus within its EEZ, 27 miles off the south coast of the island were forced by a Turkish warship to cease their operations and withdraw within the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus, under fear for the lives of their crews and the integrity of the ships.

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

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