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Government will not impose prohibit freedom of movement, says President
2003-05-15 17:05:07

Nicosia, May 15 (CNA)Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said the government will not impose restrictions in the freedom of movement, even if the freedom is a restricted one.

Speaking after a ceremony where former Greek Foreign Minister, Theodoros Pangalos was declared honourary citizen of Lefkara village in the Larnaca district, Papadopoulos also repeated the government's readiness to negotiate based on the Annan Plan, provided changes are made to it beforehand.

Invited to comment on the communication, which US President George Bush and Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had, Papadopoulos said the Turkish side and Erdogan say they are contributing to a solution by pointing out to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan that the proper solution is two separate "states".|

"The American support to the Annan plan as it is, is well known. We accept the plan for negotiations, provided that the proper changes which are required by the new conditions and our accession to the European Union are made", Papadopoulos said.

The President further said that the government will not put any restrictions to the right for freedom of movement, despite today's incidents by the regime in the occupied areas.

Metropolitan Morfou Neofytos and Greek Cypriot worshippers were forced by illegal policemen to leave the Turkish occupied church of Agios Mamas in Morfou as the Bishop was conducting a service there while Turkish armed soldiers ejected two Greek Cypriot farmers from their land in the buffer zone at Athienou village, which borders the occupied areas.

Papadopoulos said with his actions, "Denktash might want to promote the existence of a "state" or might be trying to avert the communication between the two sides".

"Independent of the provocations, we should not impose restrictions on the freedom of movement which is the foundation of our struggle. This was decided by the National Council from the very first day", he said.

Papadopoulos further said that what is happening today, with the easing of restrictions in the freedom of movement, "is not a solution, not even a step towards a solution. The Cyprus problem", he added, "is not just freedom of movement, especially restricted freedom, as it is imposed by Denktash because Denktash wants a solution based on two separate states with good neighborly relations that would solve border problems".

"We will never accept that", the President pledged.

Papadopoulos praised Greek Member of Parliament, and former Greek Foreign Minister, Pangalos' contribution to Cyprus' European Union accession course, noting it was instrumental and decisive, noting that "Pangalos was one of the people who opened the road” to Cyprus" accession.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island's territory.

It will become a full-fledged member of the European Union in May, 2004

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