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Cyprus President to attend UN General Assembly
2005-09-01 12:21:45

Nicosia, Sep 1 -- Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos leaves Sunday (September 4) for the United States, where he will represent Cyprus at the 60th General Assembly of the United Nations (Sept. 14-19), it was officially announced today.

Yesterday, the President received a 10-member delegation of US Congress members who were in Nicosia on a fact-finding mission in the region regarding anti-terrorism.

The delegation expressed condolences for the recent air crash of a Cypriot airplane that led to the death of 121 people and made a symbolic gesture offering the President the US flag that was flying half mast at the US Embassy's building in Nicosia, the day after the air crash.

The US Congress members also expressed solidarity with the Cypriot people for their efforts for a just solution to the Cyprus problem and called upon the international community to respect the decision of the Greek Cypriots to reject the Annan plan for a comprehensive solution.

They also thanked the government of Cyprus for its support in the efforts to combat terrorism and money laundering.

Head of the delegation, Congressman Tom Davis, said that there is now a unique opportunity for a reunification of Cyprus, emerging from Turkey's aspirations to accede the European Union.

''We expressed our condolences about the tragic air crash and we discussed about the situation in Cyprus, the efforts to unite the island and the unique opportunity with Turkey seeking accession to the EU and how we can work together with all parties to try to bring about a resolution'', Mr. Davis stressed.

Congresswoman Carolyn Malone noted that the US delegation discussed all that ''needs to be done to earn the respect and support for the majority of Greek Cypriots who voted against the Annan plan''.

She also said that it is encouraging that the Syrian troops left Lebanon, and expressed hope that the Turkish troops in Cyprus would do so as well.

''Syrian forces left Lebanon therefore increasing greater opportunities for peace, justice and democracy. It is my hope that the Turkish forces that invaded Cyprus will leave the island so that Cyprus Greeks and Cyprus Turks can work out their differences in a peaceful way'', she added.

Ms. Malone also spoke about the property rights of the Greek Cypriot refugees, and said that they should all have the right to return to their homes, and that this right should be included in any plan for a Cyprus settlement.

The US delegation visited Cyprus in the framework of its fact-finding mission in the region regarding antiterrorism.

They had already visited Morocco and Lebanon and flew from Cyprus yesterday to Egypt and Israel.

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