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Athens and Nicosia working to defend Cyprus' interests
2005-03-07 12:01:22

Nicosia, Mar 7 (CNA) -- The governments of Greece and Cyprus are in constant communication and are working together, both within and outside the EU, to defend the interests of the Republic of Cyprus and the people of the island, House of Representatives President Demetris Christofias said today, after a meeting with Greek Minister of Education and Religion Marietta Yiannakou.

Christofias said the governments of Greece and Cyprus ''are making joint efforts to create the preconditions for a constructive and fruitful dialogue, in the context of the UN, on the basis of the Annan plan, so as to bring about the necessary changes to the plan that would express the wishes and expectations of both communities, especially the Greek Cypriots, after the referenda, to have a viable and functional solution of the Cyprus problem.''

Yiannakou said it was very important for Greece ''to support Cyprus, so that the implementation of the acquis communautaire is absolute, since this is the meaning of Cyprus within the EU,'' adding that the acquis communautaire ''comes before any solutions or plans,'' because both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots ''have the right to enjoy all the benefits that all EU citizens enjoy.''

The Greek Minister assured that the two governments were in close contact, because the Cyprus problem ''remains the main national issue and both sides should know this.''

The meeting was attended by Cypriot Minister of Education and Culture Pefkios Georgiades and Greek Ambassador in Nicosia Christos Panagopoulos.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Separate simultaneous referenda were held in April 2004 on a solution plan proposed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. It was rejected by the Greek Cypriot community and accepted by the Turkish Cypriot community.

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