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Egyptian Speaker says his country rejects occupation of Cyprus
2004-12-02 09:44:41

Nicosia, Dec 2 (CNA) – President of the Egyptian Peoples' Assembly, Dr. Ahmed Fathy Sorour, who is on an official visit to Cyprus, has stressed that his country rejects the occupation of territory and the creation of states on foreign land.

Speaking after meeting Cyprus House of Representatives President Demetris Christofias who had invited him to Cyprus, Sorour said his country welcomes the position of the people of Cyprus who did not accept a proposal for a solution to island's long standing division which was contrary to their interests.

Welcoming Sorour, Christofias pointed out that with the island's accession to the European Union, ''Cyprus will not forget its neighbouring friends and co-fighters in the Non-Aligned Movement and hoped Cyprus will become an ambassador for these countries to the EU''.

Sorour was also received by Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos.

In his statements after meeting Christofias, Sorour said the Egyptian Assembly ''always supported the unity of territories and the people of Cyprus. We support international order which is based on UN resolutions''.

''We resolutely reject the division of Cyprus and support the resolution of the Cyprus issue through negotiations and according to international law'', the Egyptian official added.

Egypt, he said, ''rejects the occupation of territories'', adding ''it is not possible the occupation to be a reason to create new states on foreign land''.

''We welcome the position of the people of Cyprus who did not accept proposals for a solution to the problem, which is contrary to their interests and for refusing to accept any solution that would not safeguard its unity'', Sorour said, referring to the rejection of the Annan Plan by the Greek Cypriot side in a referendum last April.

''We call for international legality to prevail and not the rules of the powerful'', he added, noting that the Cyprus problem is a struggle between the fair and the unfair, the powerful and the law and what should undoubtedly prevail is the law and legality''.

Referring to the relations between the two countries, he said they are ''historically traditional'' and will continue in the future even more strengthened. They are relations which were established from the times of the late Gamal Abdel Nasser and Archbishop Makarios III, he added.

Sorour expressed appreciation for Cyprus' positions over the demands of the Palestinian people which call for restoration of their freedom and the creation of an independent state. He also expressed gratitude for Cyprus' support to the people of Iraq.

''We look forward to a powerful Cyprus within the EU, because we know that a powerful, Mediterranean Cyprus is power for us too'', said the Speaker of the Egyptian Peoples' Assembly.

In his statements, the Cypriot House President said Sorour's visit ''greatly honours us because he is a cordial friend and supporter of Cyprus and its cause''.

Following principles which support the dignitary of his people, the Arab people and the people of Cyprus, Sorour is constantly standing by Cyprus, Christofias said, adding that their meeting was ''cordial, friendly''.

''The word 'occupation' is repulsive for both sides because it is destructive for civilization and the peoples' dignity'', Christofias remarked.

Furthermore, he noted that the foundation of the relations between the two countries are based on common action in the Non Aligned Movement and ''the common effort for peace, cooperation and friendship in our region and to secure the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states, including that of the Palestinian state which must be founded and allow the people of Palestine live free in their own state''.

Cyprus ''will not forget its neighbours, friends and co-fighters in the Non-Aligned Movement. Our ambition is that our country can become an ambassador for these countries through the EU and play a decisive role in relations with the new neighbours…'' he added.

The Cypriot official praised the cooperation that the Cypriot Parliament maintains with Sorour during within the framework of the Euro Mediterranean Cooperation and Conference where he plays a very important role.

The Egyptian official will later today have meetings with Defence Minister Kyriakos Mavronicolas in his capacity as acting Foreign Minister, Finance Minister Iakovos Keravnos, and Famagusta Mayor Yiannakis Skordis.

The President of the Egyptian People's Assembly will also visit the cease-fire line in the eastern Famagusta district. Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

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