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Greek Cypriot side ready to resume negotiations on Cyprus
2003-05-03 19:19:01

Nicosia, May 3 (CNA) - The Greek Cypriot side is ready to resume negotiations for a settlement of the Cyprus problem, Government Spokesman Kypros Chrisostomides told CNA today, commenting on statements made by UN Secretary General's Special Advisor on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto.

''The National Council has declared the readiness of the Greek Cypriot side for immediate negotiations,'' Chrisostomides said.

De Soto said that UN SG Kofi Anan, has to hear the leaders of the two sides on the island, as well as Greece and Turkey, say that they are trully and seriously committed in efforts to reach a solution within a certain timeframe.|

Chrisostomides noted that ''we are interested in the substance of the negotiations and in pursuing a solution to the Cyprus issue''.

Government Spokesman expressed the belief that no one in Cyprus wants the negotiations on the substance of the Cyprus problem to turn into negotiations on confidence building measures.

Regarding free movement, Chrisostomides told CNA that for years now governments of the Republic pursued to secure free movement all over Cyprus and added that ''no restrictions will be imposed on free movement.''

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

Last week the Turkish regime in the occupied north decided to ease restrictions on free movement which it had imposed in 1974. This led thousands of Greek Cypriots to the occupied areas, in spite of hours of waiting at check points and other obstacles the regime had raised, to see their homes, they had not been allowed to see for nearly thirty years.

CNA/AAR/MK/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
03/05/2003

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