Cyprus President: Arafat's death leaves an irreplaceable gap
Nicosia, Nov 11 (CNA) -- Yasser Arafat’s death leaves an irreplaceable gap both for the fighters of Palestine and the course towards peace, Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos has stated.
The Cypriot President, who has sent a message of condolences to the Palestinian people and Yasser Arafat’s family over the death of the Palestinian leader, expressing the government and the people’s deep regret at Arafat’s death, told reporters that “it was with great pain we heard about the death of the symbol of the Palestinian resistance and Palestinian people”.
“I believe he leaves an irreplaceable gap behind both for the fighters of Palestine and, I would even say, the path towards peace”, President Papadopoulos said.
Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said in his message of condolences President papadopoulos said the Cypriot government will be represented at the funeral by Foreign Minister George Iacovou while the Honourary President of the Social Democrats Movement EDEK Vassos Lyssarides will attend the funeral as the President’s special representative.
“The President of the Republic has sent a message of condolences expressing his deep regret over the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and on behalf of the people of Cyprus”, Chrysostomides said, adding the President is expressing “his deep condolences to the Palestinian people and Yasser Arafat’s family”.
In his message, said Chrysostomides, President Papadopoulos said “for the last 40 years, Yasser Arafat has been the substance and personification of the Palestinian people in making real their inalienable rights for an independent Palestinian state”.
The Cypriot President notes that when the Oslo Agreement was signed in 1993, giving Yasser Arafat the Peace Nobel Prize, “he had contributed to creating the conditions to realise the noble vision of the Palestinian people for peace in the Middle East and regional cooperation”.
“The President hopes the Palestinian people retain their unity and dedication to peace and understanding, following the example of their historic leader and fulfilling the vision and aim of the Palestinians for an independent Palestinian state, which can exist side by side with Israel in peace and security”, the message concluded.