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European Parliament President sends message of reconciliation
2002-05-09 12:05:23

Nicosia, May 9 (CNA) -- President of the European Parliament Pat Cox has sent out a message of reconciliation which is "especially timely" as the ongoing UN-led direct talks between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus were taking place, expressing the desire for achieving a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.

In statements after meeting here this afternoon Cyprus House President Demetris Christofias, Cox said he was to speak in the Parliament later today and send the message of Shumann Day "to mark and recall the European ideal based on reconciliation."

He said "I can think of no more relevant place in today's Europe to be than here in Nicosia which is the last divided capital and where the message of reconciliation is especially timely as we look to the very welcomed but difficult talks which are taking place."|

He expressed "optimism about the (EU) enlargement and the desire within that optimism that if possible there could be a comprehensive settlement on this island".

Cyprus, which aspires to join the European Union in the next enlargement, has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

Christofias expressed hope that during Cox's term in office the enlargement would take place, Cyprus would be reunified, in accordance with the UN resolutions and high level agreements, and be a member of the EU."

He said during their meeting, they thoroughly discussed "the terms of reconciliation between the two communities, always bearing in mind the need to guarantee the interests, the human rights and freedoms, of both the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots," and "to end this unacceptable situation with (Cyprus') occupation and that Cyprus truly independent, as a federal state" would be part "of the European family."

The Cypriot official said he thanked Cox for "the role and support of the European Parliament" in efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem.

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