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Greek Deputy Minister calls on Turkey to contribute to Cyprus solution
2005-03-11 13:39:08

Nicosia, Mar 11 (CNA) -- Greece's National Defence Deputy Minister Ioannis Lambropoulos has called on Turkey to contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem and stop disputing Greece's sovereign rights, if it would like to carry on with its European course.

Lambropoulos was speaking at a ceremony held today at the military cemetery at Macedonitissa Tomb in Nicosia, where he received on behalf of the Greek Government the remains of three Greek soldiers who were killed during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Their remains were identified through the DNA method.

''We extend a hand of friendship in every direction. The other side (Turkish) must understand that we must live in peace,'' the Greek official noted, adding ''Turkey must stop threatening Greece's sovereign rights, must respect the international treaties and rules, the UN resolutions and must contribute to a just, peaceful and viable solution to the Cyprus problem.''

He pledged that Greece would do its utmost for Turkey's accession to the European Union. However, he said Turkey must understand that ''in order to join the EU it must contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem and, of course, to stop disputing our sovereign rights.''

''These are inviolable terms for which Hellenism will not back off,'' the Greek Deputy Minister stressed.

Cyprus Defence Minister Kyriacos Mavronicolas expressed Cyprus' enormous gratitude for the sacrifice of the Greek soldiers who gave their lives defending Cyprus' independence.

He pledged that Cyprus would continue its struggle until a free and united Cyprus is achieved.

The three identifed soldiers are Sergeant Stefanos Costopoulos, and commandoes Panagiotis Yiannopoulos and Spyridon Nombelis.Their remains will be buried in Greece.

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