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PSEKA: Rapprochement should be strengthened
2003-08-29 10:45:27

Nicosia, Aug 28 (CNA) - Speakers at the meeting of the World Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), held in Nicosia on the sidelines of the 13th World Congress of Overseas Cypriots, pointed out the need to continue and strengthen efforts for rapprochement with the Turkish Cypriots.

However, they noted that one should not expect all Turkish Cypriots to share the same views as the Greek Cypriots, and suggested the organisation of seminars, panels, meetings and events with the participation of Turkish Cypriots.

Today, PSEKA also approved a series of resolutions, in which it reaffirms its support for a just, viable and functional solution of the Cyprus problem, and further states the determination of overseas Cypriots to contribute to efforts to reach a Cyprus settlement.

Speaking at the meeting, Greek New Democracy political party MP Marietta Yiannakou Koutsikou said the Greek Cypriot side should continue to prove that it is not responsible for the non-solution of the Cyprus problem, and assured that her party will continue to support efforts to reach a settlement.

PSEKA President Philip Christopher said rapprochement between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots is necessary, but noted that one should not expect all Turkish Cypriots ''to believe one hundred percent what we believe''.

He said ''the Turkish Cypriots have their doubts'' about the positions of the Greek Cypriots and maintain their own positions and views.

Representatives of overseas Cypriots made short references to their experience in rapprochement in the countries they live in, and suggested the organisation of seminars, panel discussions, conferences, meetings and events with the participation of Turkish Cypriots, and the enhancement of relations between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriots students at universities abroad.

They also said Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash was against cooperation and rapprochement between the two communities and thus any Turkish Cypriot cooperating with the Greek Cypriots was ''a spanner in Denktash's machine''.

The participants in today's meeting approved a series of resolutions to President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, US President George Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, European Commission President Roman Prodi, Australian Prime Minister John Howard and the Turkish Cypriot community.

In its resolutions, PSEKA reaffirms its support towards a just, viable and functional solution of the Cyprus problem and points to the need for the withdrawal of Turkish troops from the island and the respect of human rights.

It also notes that the easing of restrictions on the free movement of citizens to and from the Turkish-occupied areas has demolished Denktash's myth that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots cannot live together.

PSEKA reaffirms the determination of overseas Cypriots to contribute towards a Cyprus settlement, and welcomes the signing of Cyprus' Accession Treaty with the EU.

Addressing the meeting, Yiannakou Koutsikou said Cyprus' accession to the EU was a success of Hellenism as a whole and noted that within the Union, Cyprus will be able to promote its aims and play a role in the international system.

Referring to the Cyprus problem, she said the Greek Cypriot side should continue to prove that it is not responsible for the failure of efforts to reach a settlement.

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

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