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Turkish Cypriots honour President Clerides
2003-02-02 21:59:08

Limassol, Feb 2 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides said here today, speaking before 150 Turkish Cypriots living in the government controlled areas of the island, ''we have to forget the conflicts of the past, within the EU, and together build the future of our children and grandchildren.''

Speaking at a gathering, organised by the T/C association ''Cyprus belongs to Cypriots'', to honour him, Cyprus President assured that he will continue to do his utmost for the reunification of the island and the peaceful settlement of the Cyprus problem.

''My efforts are focused in achieving a peaceful reconciliation and reunification,'' he added.

Some of the participants held flags of Cyprus and the EU as well as placards reading slogans in favour of a solution and the accession of a united Cyprus to the EU. The President was handed an honourary plate by which Turkish Cypriots thank him for his continuous efforts to solve the Cyprus problem and his concern for the Turkish Cypriots living in the free areas of the island.|

Clerides said ''Cyprus sees now into Europe a bright future for all of its people, Greek Cypriots, Turkish, Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins. Our future is the future of both sides that aim to live in peace on this beautiful island,'' he added.

President of the T/C association Ayhan Mehmet said that all of his hopes for peace rely on President Clerides and thanked him for what he did as a President and a citizen, during his career, for the sake of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriots.

The President of the association's youth, Hasan Ogious said that if young people from both sides come together ''then we will make our beautiful island an island of peace.''

''We want our freedom back. There should be no borders and barbed wires on the island. We want peace to come to our country and Cyprus to enter as a whole into the EU and we know that we, the young people can achieve this,'' he added.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.

CNA/SK/MK/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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