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Simitis sees ''other means'' ahead to reach a settlement
2003-04-18 16:12:20

Nicosia, Apr 18 (CNA) -- Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis believes the future offers ''other means, other processes and other dates'' to help find a negotiated settlement in Cyprus.

He also said that there is political will both towards the Turkish Cypriot community and towards Turkey to overcome problems.

Addressing a large crowd, that gathered here tonight to welcome him to Cyprus, Simitis said the abolition of the dividing line in Cyprus can pave the way for Turkey's accession to the European Union.

''There will be a continuation (of efforts for solution) because we want to settle the problem. There are other means ahead of us, we have procedures, we have dates which give us the opportunity. We also have the policy as well as the political will towards the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey to overcome problems,'' Simitis stressed.

The Greek premier said Greece and Cyprus will work for peace and cooperation and are set to succeed in achieving this.

He said the Green Line that cuts Nicosia into two will exist as long as Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots do not understand that it can be overcome and it can be abolished.

''Our common goal is to overcome the past and solve the political problem, to overcome the consequences of 1974 (Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus' northern part),'' he added.

He said that there is proof that the Greeks and the Greek Cypriots accept the latest UN peace proposal and that we want peace, friendship and cooperation.

A Greek Cypriot woman and a Turkish Cypriot woman offered Simitis a symbolic gift of a reunited Cyprus. He pointed out that this gesture shows the way ahead, the way for future cooperation.

Nicosia Mayor Michael Zampelas gave him the capital's medal and offered him an honorary diploma on the occasion of his visit. The Mayor of Aglandjia Andreas Petrou made Simitis an honorary citizen of his municipality, offering him the key to Aglandjia.

''Nicosia, divided at present, will not remain such for long, we welcome you all here and thank you sincerely for your substantive efforts in our accession course,'' Zampelas said.

Addressing the Greek premier, Petrou expressed gratitude ''for the arduous task you have made and the successful conclusion of our accession course.''

''We are also grateful to you for your support and the battles you fight for a just settlement in Cyprus,'' he added.|

CNA GS/AGG/MAN/MM/GP/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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