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EP President departs from Cyprus
2005-10-10 12:08:58

Paphos, Oct 9 (CNA) - President of the European Parliament Josep Borrell departed today from Cyprus, stating that ''politically speaking, I know much more about Cyprus today and I think that it is very important for the European political authorities to learn more about the Cyprus problem and coming here is a good way of doing that.''

Speaking at Paphos Airport prior to his departure, Borrell said ''we need a solution to the Cyprus problem, the situation cannot stay any longer, the Annan Plan was rejected and we have to try again.''

''Cyprus cannot remain divided for ever and I think the momentum created by the start of the negotiations with Turkey is a good moment to restart negotiations in order to finish with the divide of the island. That is what I have told all authorities of the Republic of Cyprus and I am very satisfied with the meetings I had with them,'' Borrell added.

Asked about the US involvement in the EU's decision to commence accession negotiations with Turkey, that is talks US Secretary of state Condoleeza Rice had with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, Borrell said ''it seems that she helped a lot to convince some of the parties to finish with all the problems before starting the negotiations but I wouldn't say anything more than that.''

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. In April 2004, the Greek Cypriot community rejected a settlement plan proposed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, as it deemed it did not meet its main concerns.

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