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Papadopoulos and Simitis welcome wave of fraternisation
2003-04-29 12:57:26

Athens, Apr 29 (CNA-ANA) - Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos and Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis welcomed the wave of fraternisation in Cyprus over the past few days and agreed that efforts should continue in the UN context to solve the Cyprus problem.

Greek Government Spokesman Christos Protopapas said Papadopoulos and Simitis had a telephone conversation today, during which they ''welcomed the wave of fraternisation in Cyprus, which proves the will of the people to overcome the past'', according to the Athens News Agency (ANA).|

ANA also reported that on April 27, Greek Orthodox Easter Sunday, Simitis said in a speech that the easing of restrictions on the free movement of Greek and Turkish Cypriots to and from either side was not accidental.

''The Turkish Cypriots crossed into southern Cyprus and the Greek Cypriot crossed into northern Cyprus because the regime of Rauf Denktash could not maintain the restrictions it had imposed in 1974'', Simitis said, adding that ''there is no haphazard result in international politics''.

He added that ''there are no automatic pilots in international politics'' and that the easing of restrictions was ''the result of a plan'' Greece had.

''Cyprus' accession to the EU led to pressure on behalf of our allies, our partners in the EU, to finally solve the political problem and for the Turkish Cypriot side to abandon its intransigent stance'', he said.

Simitis noted that the acceptance of Turkey's candidacy to accede to the EU ''placed her on a path where she is more and more obliged to accept the acquis communautaire, the terms of international law, to accept to overcome the differences she has created with Greece''.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.


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