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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-12-28

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The maintenance of the de facto division of Cyprus is not in the interests of the people of Cyprus but in the interests of Turkey, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has stressed, in his address at the opening of an exhibition of the Press and Information Office to mark the end of a series of events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Stephanou said that the islands two communities have survived through tragedies and calamities, but have not reached their goal yet.

    He noted that the Cypriot people will achieve their objective, ``once the Turkish occupation will come to an end, the de facto division of our island will be terminated and the songs and dance of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots will unite together in a free and common country, within the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, as agreed in 1977.

    Despite repeated efforts, a solution has not been found, mainly due to the negative, intransigent stance of the Turkish side, he pointed out.

    Moreover, he said that in spite of Turkeys policy on Cyprus, Cypriots have not the right to abandon their efforts, since Turkey is the only party which is benefiting from maintaining the islands division.

    The present and the future of the Cypriot people, he added, remain at stake as long as the island is under Turkish occupation and said that it is our obligation to continue the arduous voyage to Ithaca, despite disappointments and challenges``.

    Referring to the photographic exhibition, Stephanou noted that through the images people may reflect on the historical path and ponder on what went wrong and how Cyprus ended up divided, after the 1974 military coup, staged by the Athens junta at the time, and the subsequent invasion by Turkish troops.

    Cyprus has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. Peace talks are currently underway to find a negotiated settlement that will reunite the country, under a federal roof.


    The ongoing UN-led negotiations continue on Tuesday with a fresh meeting between the top aides to the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus. George Iacovou and Kudret Ozersay, aides to Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu respectively, will be meeting this morning, in the UN Protected Area of Nicosia.

    Todays scheduled meeting between the President and the Turkish Cypriot leader, in the framework of UN-led negotiations, has been postponed, due to Eroglu`s ill health who underwent heart surgery last week in Ankara and is recuperating.

    The Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides have been engaged in direct negotiations since September 2008 to find a mutually agreed settlement that will reunite the country, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. The two leaders have been invited by the UN Secretary General to a meeting in Geneva in late January. President Christofias has expressed concern as to whether the Geneva meeting will actually take place. He said he will confer with the UN on the matter.

    The UN are convening the meeting and it is up to them to decide whether it ought to be postponed or not, he noted, expressing at the same time his readiness to respond positively whenever the UN SG invites him to such a meeting.


    The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia Herzegovina Sven Alkalaj arrives in Cyprus on a two-day visit, at the invitation of his Cypriot counterpart Markos Kyprianou.

    The Bosnian FM will meet on Tuesday Deputy Mayor of Nicosia Soula Kollakidou and he will be given a guided tour of the old city of Nicosia and the cease-fire line, which separates Cyprus northern Turkish occupied areas from the southern government controlled part of the country. On Wednesday, Alkalaj will be received by President of the Republic Demetris Christofias and have a meeting with President of the House of Representatives Marios Garoyian.

    He will then have talks with his Cypriot counterpart focusing on bilateral relations, relations between Bosnia Herzegovina and the European Union and the Cyprus problem.

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