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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-09-01

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu said after a dinner they had at the formers holiday residence in Kellaki village, that they are not comrades but they can be very good friends.

    Since we are working to reunite Cyprus in the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, I think that it is our duty to have social meetings to break the ice because as Mr. Eroglu has said we are not comrades but we can become friends, he added.

    Christofias wished that their talks on the Cyprus problem will go on smoothly and that they will have the understanding they have when they meet over diners. As he pointed out, their common goal is to reach a final, mutually accepted, viable settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    He noted that they share the same homeland and they must work for the welfare of their children and grandchildren. So, I wish for us to come freely together, as soon as possible, without dividing lines, to exchange friendly visits to our homes and of course for Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to visit, vice versa, very freely within the framework of the bizonal bicommunal federation,`` he added.

    Christofias thanked Mr and Mrs Eroglou and the Turkish Cypriot leaders aid Kudret Ozersay for accepting his invitation and expressed the belief that this will not be their last social meeting, despite any difficulties they face at the negotiations.

    ``And we dont hide these difficulties - we shall try to overcome these difficulties for the sake of our people, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, both communities,`` he added.

    On his part, speaking through an interpreter, Eroglu said they had a superb dinner and a great night.

    He noted that negotiations are not only held at the negotiating table and that social contacts contribute and help the negotiations and the good climate needed.

    ``Mr Christofias is not my comrade but he is a really good friend of mine now and our wives get on really well as well so they are good friends, and it is good to have this relationship. We had a lovely evening and this will not be the last dinner that we have``, he said.

    He underlined that ``we will continue with these type of events and develop our relationship even further. Our desire is to find a lasting and viable settlement in Cyprus and all our efforts are towards this end.``

    On his part, UN Secretary General Special Adviser for Cyprus Alexander Downer, who attended the dinner, said it was a very enjoyable evening.

    ``I think it was an evening where the private discussions were held in an exceptionally good atmosphere. As you know this is the third of these dinners, the first that I hosted and the second was hosted by Mr and Mrs Eroglu and the third tonight,`` he noted.

    He said that ``it is a very important component of diplomacy to build a personal relationship and I think that tonights dinner as with the other two, has been excellent for that purpose and we have enjoyed it very much. And from our perspective at the United Nations we are very happy to see this sort of initiatives by the leaders,`` he concluded.

    Christofias and Eroglu are engaged in peace talks to find a negotiated settlement that will reunite the country, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.


    Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman will pay an official visit to Cyprus on 2-3 September responding to an invitation by Cypriot FM Markos Kyprianou.

    According to the Israeli embassy in Nicosia, the Israeli FM will arrive in Cyprus on Thursday evening and will meet with his Cypriot counterpart on Friday afternoon.

    After the meeting the two Foreign Ministers are expected to issue a joint statement, the embassy spokesman said.

    This is the second official visit by Avigdor Lieberman to Cyprus this year, as the Israeli FM has already visited the country in mid January 2010.

    According to the same source, the Israeli Foreign Minister is likely to meet with the President of the Democratic Rally (DISY) Nicos Anastasiades.

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