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AHI: Time is propitious for US to act for Cyprus solution
2003-05-19 19:20:45

Nicosia, May 19 (CNA) Cyprus' accession to the European Union, together with Turkey's unreliability as a US strategic ally in Iraq create a fertile ground for the US to make a positive movement for a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem, stressed here Monday American Hellenic Institute (AHI) General Counsel, Gene Rossides.

Chairing an AHI delegation visiting Cyprus, Rossides met House of Representatives President Demetris Christofias, and exchanged views on the ''current historic situation in view of Cyprus' EU accession and the recent maneuvers” by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and the Turkish military.

He also informed Christofias on a letter to US President George Bush urging him to make a positive move towards a solution of the Cyprus problem, because the time is propitious due to Cyprus' entry to the EU and Turkey's unreliability as a strategic ally by its refusal to help the US.|

''Turkey is of minimal strategic value to US interests and 'an 'extortionist' state. The US should act. Not in the interest of Cyprus but for the interest of the US to have a viable solution,'' Rossides added.

In his letter to the US President, Rossides calls for a Cyprus settlement based on democratic principles, the immediate return of the closed town of Varosha (Famagusta) to the government of Cyprus under UN auspices for the resettlement of refugees, the island’s demilitarisation and the prompt return of illegal Turkish settlers to Turkey.

Famagusta, a thriving holiday resort before 1974, was the home of some 60,000 people. Over the years and the so far fruitless rounds of peace talks, under UN aegis, the town was often a pawn in the negotiating game.

The town fell to the advancing Turkish troops in mid-August 1974 when they moved towards the east and the west of the island from the positions they occupied north of Nicosia, in Kyrenia district. The second offensive resulted in the occupation of 37 per cent of the Republic's territory.

The UN considers Turkey responsible for maintaining the current status quo in the city of Varosha, now behind barbed wire and inaccessible to its legal Greek Cypriot inhabitants.

CNA/KN/EC/2003
ENDS,CYPRUS NEWS
19/05/2003

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