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Greek premier rejects Cyprus solution outside UN framework
2003-04-18 17:12:20

Nicosia, Apr 18 (CNA) -- Greek Prime Minister and current European Council President Costa Simitis has totally rejected any idea for a solution to the Cyprus problem outside the United Nations framework.

Replying at an official dinner given for him here tonight by Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos, the Greek premier warned that any ''discussion of the Cyprus question outside the UN framework, as suggested either at bilateral or five-party level, is dangerous.''

Simitis flew to Cyprus this evening in his capacity as current European Union President, just two days after Cyprus and nine other European countries signed in Athens their Accession Treaty to the EU.

Cyprus is his first stop of a 24-nation tour that will take him to the other 14 EU member-states and the ten countries that they will fully join the Union on 1 May 2004. The aim of his European tour is to prepare the ground for the next European Council to be held in June 2003 in Salonica, northern Greece.

''Our vision is Cyprus Republic free and reunited, a state of prosperity and democracy, a state of justice which will completely respect the rights of the whole of the people, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, that will offer equal opportunities, a state-bastion of the EU in eastern Mediterranean, a bridge of peace between the EU and the Middle East,'' Simitis said.

The Greek premier pledged to continue offering assistance to the efforts for a achieving a workable solution to the Cyprus problem, based on UN resolutions and in accordance with the EU principles.

Simitis congratulated Cyprus for showing impressive economic indicators despite the calamities of the 1974 Turkish invasion, which resulted to the occupation of 37 per cent of the island's territory.

The Greek premier, who is accompanied by his Foreign Minister George Papandreou and other officials, will hold talks tomorrow with President Papadopoulos and political party leaders from both sides of the divide. He leaves tomorrow evening. |

CNA GP/2003


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