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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-06-11

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Cyprus has had a tragic past and that the aim is to find a lasting and comprehensive solution for a peaceful and united Cyprus, which would guarantee the legitimate rights of both Greek and Turkish Cypriots, in full compliance with the values and principles of the Council of Europe.

    He also expressed hope that talks between the two sides on the island would bear fruit as soon as possible, and reiterated UN remarks that a solution of the Cyprus problem was within grasp and the opportunity must be seized.

    Addressing the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament, Cavusoglu described Cyprus as ``a crossroads for civilisations over the millennia`` and expressed hope that Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, ``legend or not, will inspire us all, not only in working in close unison together at this Conference, but also in the task of bringing the two parts of Cyprus closer to each other.``

    Referring to the first theme of the Conference, concerning the rights and responsibilities of the opposition in parliament, Cavusoglu expressed certainty that the delegates would be able ``to identify various areas where we can do better than we have so far in safeguarding the rights and responsibilities of an opposition in parliament.``

    ``For what is government, what is indeed democracy, without a lively, constantly questioning, irksome, irritating opposition? How can we sharpen our arguments unless others, who we want to convince, question them? It is no coincidence that in the best functioning democracies, the end result of the process `thesis versus anti-theses` is `synthesis`, in which majority proposals incorporate at least some elements advocated by the opposition,`` he said.

    He pointed out that ``political life seems to be best when there is at least a degree of compromise between the majority and the minority, and this presupposes a certain give-and-take between them. When the opposition feels that its views get heard and it is respected, it will also feel greater responsibility for the business at hand.``

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