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Papadopoulos addresses PASOK meeting
2003-05-27 11:52:11

by Maria Antouna-- Athens, May 27 (CNA) - President of the Republic of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos today reaffirmed the acceptance of the Annan plan and the readiness of the Greek Cypriot side to respond to a UN call to continue negotiations in an effort to change certain provisions of the plan for a Cyprus settlement.

Addressing the joint meeting of the Central Committee and the Parliamentary Group of Greek PASOK political party, President Papadopoulos noted that the plans of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to restore good neighbourly relations between the two sides on the island would not come to pass.

He added that the solution of the Cyprus problem remains the primary aim of the people of the island.

The President said the government's policy was planned and is implemented in cooperation with Greece, noting that this policy provided for the acceptance of the Annan plan as a basis for negotiations.

He noted that Cyprus has the support of Greece in this effort, as well as all the ''enlightened'' EU members, who realise that a solution should be compatible with the fundamental principles of the acquis communautaire in order to be viable.

Addressing the President, Greek Prime Minister and leader of PASOK Costas Simitis said that the presence of Papadopoulos at the meeting ''marks the fact that we support the people of Cyprus and its efforts, we are together with the Cypriot political leadership, always ready to contribute to solve the national issue''.|

Referring to Cyprus' signing of the EU Accession Treaty last month, President Papadopoulos said it was ''an historical landmark for Cyprus'' and noted that ''it was perhaps the most historic moment after independence and certainly the most important if not the only diplomatic success of Cypriot Hellenism after the tragedy of the Turkish invasion and occupation''.

He said the signing of the Accession Treaty opens new horizons for the Cyprus problem and may act as a ''catalyst'' for a solution.

Referring to the solution plan put forward by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, President Papadopoulos said ''it may contain many provisions that we would not like if we were to start from scratch''.

He noted that the recent small crack in the diving wall on the island, imposed by Turkey and maintained by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, is not a solution of the Cyprus problem, not even a step towards that goal.

''What Denktash is trying to do is to restore good neighbourly relations between two equal and independent legitimate entities in Cyprus. These plans of Denktash will not come to pass'', the President stressed.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The most recent effort to reach a settlement on the basis of the Annan plan collapsed due to the stance of the Turkish side. Recently, the Turkish occupation regime in Cyprus eased restrictions on the free movement of citizens.

During his stay in Athens, President Papadopoulos held talks with Simitis and met with Greek political party leaders.


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