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Cyprus President addresses overseas Cypriots
2006-08-24 12:30:13

Nicosia, Aug 24 ? Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos addressed on Wednesday overseas Cypriots who gathered in Nicosia for their annual conference.

Addressing the three-day conference in Nicosia of the Central Boards of PSEKA (International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus) and POMAK (World Federation of Overseas Cypriots), as well as the third World Conference of NEPOMAK (World Federation of Young Overseas Cypriots), the President stressed that the government recognizes and appreciates the role of overseas Cypriots, who ''have never tired caring and fighting, in every corner of the world, for the restoration of justice in Cyprus.''

He also pointed out that ''it is difficult for disjointed and isolated efforts to bring about the sought after results'' and that it was of utmost importance to make collective efforts, methodically and united.

President Papadopoulos also said a process was agreed on between himself and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in the presence of UN Undersecretary for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari, on 8 July 2006, to prepare the ground for a Cyprus settlement.

''The agreement of July 8 reaffirms our commitment to the reunification of Cyprus on the basis of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, and clearly provides for the simultaneous and in parallel discussion, by technical committees and teams of experts, of issues concerning and affecting the day-to-day life of the people and issues of substance of the Cyprus problem,'' he added.

He also said that since July 8, meetings have been held between the representatives of the leaders of the two communities, aimed at preparing discussions on issues of substance between the leaders.

He noted that the implementation of the July 8 agreement also depends on the Turkish side, and assured that ''our side is working sincerely and responsibly to implement the agreement.''

He could not predict the developments and would refrain from expressing optimistic or pessimistic evaluations, but added that the Greek Cypriot side will do everything it can towards implementing the July 8 agreement.

''I once again reiterate our commitment to a solution of a bizonal, bicommunal federation. The status quo is not a solution. Neither, of course, is a fragile and frail settlement that will seemingly close the Cyprus problem, leaving it in reality in suspension. A functional and viable solution is only a political arrangement that will reunite the country, the society, the institutions and the economy, an arrangement that will guarantee the fundamental freedoms and human rights of the whole of our people, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, and arrangement that will be based on UN principles and EU values,'' he stressed.

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