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Papadopoulos says Cyprus settlement to be a compromise
2003-02-28 11:16:22

Nicosia, Feb 28 (CNA) - New President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos said the final solution of the Cyprus problem would be a compromise, but noted that this compromise could not cause problems to the implementation of a settlement because ''if the solution is not functional, it cannot be viable, and if it is not viable, it cannot be lasting''.

Speaking before the House of Representatives, after giving his affirmation as new President of the Republic, Papadopoulos assured he was ready to tackle all developments in the Cyprus problem.

''It remains for us to prove, and we will prove, that we dare to reach a compromise, a constructive compromise, in the solution of our huge national question'', he said, noting that ''we dare to walk with our Turkish Cypriot compatriots towards reconciliation, cohabitation, peace and welfare, in a common, united homeland''.

He said ''the vision for a united Cyprus within the European family, the vision for a peaceful and certain and secure future, the vision for a society of equality and justice, the vision for a better quality of life, is the common vision of all''.

Papadopoulos said his election coincided with ''a sensitive phase of developments in the Cyprus problem'', adding that ''we are ready to face these developments in a responsible, serious and realistic manner''.

He said the Greek Cypriot side wanted a solution as soon as possible because ''we, as victims of a continued invasion and occupation, want the immediate termination of the tragedy of our land, the reunification of our people and our country, the establishment of security, the safeguarding of human rights and the construction of a hopeful future for all the legal inhabitants of our homeland''.

''A non solution is not a solution. On the contrary, it will mean the beginning of new perils and new problems'', he said.

Papadopoulos expressed hope that the National Council, top advisory body to the President on the Cyprus question, will study the third peace plan presented to the sides by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and would evaluate it.

''I will work and strive for a workable and viable solution'', he assured, adding that ''our aim is the solution of the Cyprus problem and the accession of a reunited Cyprus'' to the EU.|

During his speech, Papadopoulos reiterated his pre-election campaign commitments for his home administration policy.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. On April 16, Cyprus is due to sign the Accession Treaty with the EU, after being invited to join the bloc during the December 2002 European Council in Copenhagen. Annan left the island today, having presented the two sides with a third peace plan, which followed the original on 11 November 2002 and a revised one on 10 December 2002.


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