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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-02-14

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias is working hard to achieve a solution to the Cyprus problem, which will put an end to the Turkish occupation of the island and reunite the country, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou stressed, speaking at the funeral of Sotira Georgiou and her two children, seven-year-old Mary and nine months old Yiannakis, who were killed during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, and whose remains have been exhumed and identified through the DNA method.

    Stephanou said that ``we can reach a solution to the Cyprus problem by remaining consistent to a bizonal, bicommunal federation, as has been agreed with the Turkish Cypriot community in 1977, and which the UN has adopted in several resolutions,`` he said. We can reach such a settlement by remaining consistent to UN resolutions on Cyprus, to the international and the European law, he added.

    The goal for reunification in the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, as provided by UN relative resolutions for the evolution of a single state to a federal one, with a single sovereignty, a single citizenship and a single international personality, is firm and indispensable, he added.

    President Christofias will continue his struggle, remaining attached and consistent to principles, with determination and flexibility at the direct talks which started last September, the Spokesman said.

    Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat have been engaged in direct negotiations since early September 2008, with a view to reach a settlement to the question of Cyprus.

    Referring the issue of missing persons, Stefanou said that it is a humanitarian problem, which must be solved irrelevant of any developments in the Cyprus problem. The relatives of the missing persons have the right to know what happened to their beloved ones, a right safeguarded by the international agreements and treaties, he said.

    Stephanou stressed Turkey`s obligation to contribute to investigations into the fate of missing persons in Cyprus, noting that this obligation has been even more stressed by Turkish actor Attila Olgac`s recent confession that he killed 10 Greek Cypriots, during the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Hundreds of Greek Cypriots have been missing since 1974, many of whom were last seen alive in the hands of the Turkish military. Nearly 500 Turkish Cypriots are also listed as missing since the intercommunal fighting in the early 1960s and during 1974.


    European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn pointed out on Friday that there is a unique chance to reunite Cyprus in 2009 and that this chance should not be missed.

    Rehn said the EU is fully supportive of the process of direct talks for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, adding that the two sides on the island are ready to put aside the past and work together to reunify the island and the two communities, which gives him great hope for the future of a reunified Cyprus, as a normal member state of the EU.

    Speaking at a press conference in Nicosia after meetings with the leaders of the two communities, namely President of the Republic Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, Rehn said ``there is a unique chance this year to reunite Cyprus and bring to an end this longstanding conflict on European soil,`` adding that ``this chance must be taken and not missed.``

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