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Cypriot President: Committed to work for real reunification of island
2005-08-01 17:09:58

Nicosia, Aug 1 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government works constructively for a solution that would serve the legitimate interests of all people of Cyprus and is committed to truly reunify the country in terms of territory, society, economy and institutions, Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, stressed here today, receiving the credentials of new German Ambassador Dr. Rolf Kaiser.

Presenting his credentials, the Ambassador of Germany underlined that ''while acknowledging the democratic choice exercised by the people of Cyprus in the April 2004 referenda, Germany hopes for talks on a solution that accommodates the interests of both communities to resume soon''.

''Germany joins the people of Cyprus in their hope for lasting peace, security and prosperity. Overcoming the painful division of your country remains high on the political agenda. We wish all the political leaders involved courage and determination to perceive the realisation of this hope as a common objective'', Ambassador Kaiser noted.

Cypriot President further stressed that despite the continuous and genuine efforts of the Greek Cypriot side throughout the years to reach a viable settlement, the Cyprus problem remains unresolved, and reiterated his commitment for a bizonal, bicommunal, federation.

''Consequentially, we are firmly opposed to any measures, interim or final, which would tend to solidify separatist attitudes, which would eventually operate as a disincentive to reunification efforts of the economy and of the country, which is an objective which the decision of the 26th of April, 2004, of the Council of Ministers of the European Union, expressly provides'', he noted.

Referring to the Turkish Cypriots, President Papadopoulos said that the government strongly supports their economic development, as long as it is ''within the norms of international legitimacy and EU laws''.

The Cypriot President made a special reference to the government proposals to the EU, aiming to enhance the building of trust and cooperation between the two communities.

Referring to the EU regulation on ''Direct Trade'' between Turkish Cypriots and EU countries, he said that it ''does not have any financial content for Turkish Cypriots, but it is designed to promote purely political aims of the Turkish side for advancing further separatism and political gains for the Turkish Cypriot community''.

President Papadopoulos said that the government has given its agreement to the Regulation on Financial Assistance to Turkish Cypriots of 259 million euros, since October 2004 and has submitted a number of proposals aiming to expand the 'Green Line Regulation' and therefore further facilitate the movement of persons, goods and services from the occupied area to the government controlled area and to the European Union.

''Certain countries, members of the EU and the Turkish-Cypriot leadership, however, block the release of this financial aid, in pursuance of their policy to 'couple' this financial assistance to the so-called 'Direct Trade''', he said.

Cypriot President stressed that a tangible step that would significantly contribute to the crystallization of trust between the two communities by unleashing their productive forces in the same geographical area, would be the realization of the proposal of the government of Cyprus for the return of the enclosed city of Varosha to its lawful owners.

''This proposal is followed by the government’s authorization for the re-opening of Famagusta Port for both communities and under the operational responsibility of the EU Commission'', he added.

Cypriot President noted that ''Together with military disengagement and de-mining, tourism and the region's economic development could, thus, be boosted. Such activities would, more than any other confidence-building measure, contribute to the goal of reunification''.

Furthermore, he said that a common problem both countries face, is illegal immigration, adding that Cyprus and Germany should work together in this area.

About bilateral relations, he said they are very promising, particularly in the fields of tourism, trade, education and research.

German Ambassador referred to the ''excellent bilateral relations'' especially to the ''strong'' economic relations.

On the political level, he said that a large number of visits in both directions successfully foster bilateral relations.

''As EU members we are bound to establish the framework in which our citizens can live together in peace, stability and prosperity. Establishing this framework is an ongoing process and requires to define our interests and find compromises with our partners on a daily basis. We firmly believe that Cyprus has much to contribute to this process as a highly respected member of the EU'', German Ambassador said.

He said that Cyprus has ''many friends in Germany'', especially German tourists, who become ''ambassadors of Cyprus''.

Referring to the ratification of the European Constitution by Cyprus, Ambassador Kaiser said that this action ''has proven once again that Cyprus adheres to and supports the noble ideas of our Union even in difficult times''.

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