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PSEKA says more intense efforts needed to solve Cyprus problem
2003-08-28 01:25:16

Nicosia, Aug 27 (CNA) - President of the World Coordinating Committee - Justice for Cyprus, Philip Christopher, said today that with Cyprus' signing of the Accession Treaty with the European Union, the struggle of overseas Cypriots for a Cyprus settlement should be intensified.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the PSEKA conference, on the sidelines of the 13th World Congress of Overseas Cypriots, Christopher said that at this crucial time for the Cyprus problem ''the fight has changed''.

''I do not think that Cypriots should accept a solution which will not safeguard the human rights of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots'', Christopher said, adding that ''now that we are in the EU, I believe our struggle should intensify more both in the US and Europe''.

House of Representatives President Demetris Christofias, addressing the conference, said Cyprus' accession to the EU and contacts between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots following the partial lifting of restrictions in the freedom of movement, make some changes to the Annan Plan ''mandatory and necessary''.|

He also expressed hope that the initiatives to be taken after the so-called ''elections'' in the Turkish-occupied areas will bring the much desired solution to the Cyprus problem, adding that the Greek Cypriot side is intensely preparing to respond to the developments, with good will and in a positive manner.

Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides expressed the Greek Cypriot side's readiness to enter negotiations based on the Annan Plan, noting that this policy should be promoted outside Cyprus.

Chrysostomides also said the Cyprus problem has been at a standstill for some months now following the deadlock at The Hague last March, adding that the government of Cyprus is handing the issue by continuing efforts to solve the problem, completing the island's accession to the EU and increasing contacts and a climate of trust and cooperation with Turkish Cypriots.

In an address, British Labour MP Rudi Vis condemned Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and Ankara's negative stance. He also said the partial lifting of restrictions in the freedom of movement did not constitute a Cyprus settlement.

His colleague, Conservative Nick Hawkins, said Cyprus' accession to the EU should be a message of hope, which will help efforts for a Cyprus solution.

He also said that what was also optimistic is that the number of British MPs, who support the Turkish positions, is declining.

US Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone called on overseas Cypriots to act in persuading the US administration to put pressure on Turkey to return to the negotiating table so that a solution to the Cyprus problem is reached by May 2004 when Cyprus will become a full member of the EU.

He said this could be possible because Turkey did not help the US during the war in Iraq.

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



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