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Foreign Ministry officials: Rizokarpaso school must reopen
2003-09-02 17:50:38

Nicosia, Sep 1 (CNA) - The UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) is making efforts to bring about satisfactory results in the issue of the Rizokarpaso school in the Turkish occupied areas of the Republic, Acting Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Chief of Mission Zbigniew Wlosowicz said today.

Wlosowicz was speaking after a meeting with Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sotos Zackheos, who said that the school must reopen, adding that the new Director for the Cyprus Problem at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Erato Kozakou Markoulli has spoken with the Italian presidency of the EU regarding this matter.

''We are in touch with the authorities in the north and we are trying to pay good offices. We hope we will manage to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion'', Wlosowicz said, adding that UNFICYP is in ''constant touch'' with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on this issue.

Asked about the intentions of the religious leadership in the Turkish occupied areas to repair hotels in the fenced-off town of Famagusta and operate them, Wlosowicz said ''that piece of information has not come to my office yet but as soon as it does we will look into it''.

Zackheos said he invited Wlosowicz to the Ministry after instructions from the President to discuss the issue of the fenced-off area of Famagusta and that of the Rizokarpaso school.

Regarding Famagusta, Zackheos said ''we consider Turkey responsible and along with the representations made in Nicosia, representations must be made in New York to the Turkish permanent delegation'' to the UN.

Referring to the Rizokarpaso school, Zackheos said it must reopen immediately and ''not have another illegality added to the other illegalities''.

Zackheos said Markoulli, ''again acting on the President's instructions, spoke with the Italian presidency of the EU'' about this issue.

Markoulli said that the President's instructions were to have contacts with the US Ambassador in Nicosia as well, but because the Embassy is closed today due to a holiday, the representations will be made tomorrow.

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

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