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Cyprus President addresses UN General Assembly
2006-09-21 09:22:58

New York, Sep 19 - Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos stressed that the Cyprus problem epitomizes the inability of the international community to redress the massive violations of international legality.

Addressing the 61st Session of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Mr. Papadopoulos also stressed that the Greek Cypriots remain committed to reunification through a functional bi-zonal, bi-communal federation and that the Annan plan was rejected by the Greek Cypriot community precisely because it did not provide for the reunification of the country nor did it address core issues and key concerns in a satisfactory manner.

The President added that Cyprus had hoped that by now the accession course of Turkey to the European Union would have taken its catalytic effect, and invited Ankara to recognise that there is no room for military doctrines with regard to the Cyprus question and to seek a lasting solution for the benefit of all Cypriots, Turkey and of the region.

President Papadopoulos then clarified that the Cyprus question is ''a problem of invasion and continuing occupation, by Turkish military forces, of 37% of the territory of my country for more than thirty-two years now,'' noting that it is ''mistaken by some for a protracted conflict.''

''The Cyprus problem essentially epitomises the inability of the international community to redress this set of massive violations of international legality,'' he said.

He also referred to Turkish efforts for the recognition of the occupation regime, as well as the issue of missing persons, noting that ''in the political field we have continued to exert efforts on two key axes, that is coming closer to a negotiating process that would guarantee a peaceful settlement alleviating the results of the invasion and bring about the re-unification of Cyprus, that is, of its territory, people, society, economy and institutions in a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.''

''The political agenda of projecting a separate political entity in Cyprus has been in recent years pursued under the pretext of a campaign to lift the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community. However, with the per capita income in the occupied areas of Cyprus currently standing at approximately 11,000 dollars, it is clearly acknowledgeable that the argument for economic development is exploited for political reasons and is a manifestly unsubstantiated allegation,'' he pointed out.

He also noted that ''in seeking a fair and viable resolution of the core and substantive issues comprising the Cyprus problem, we should avoid inherent shortcomings which flawed the last negotiating effort undertaken by the UN and which diverted attention from basic principles that must be upheld.''

President Papadopoulos assured that ''the Greek Cypriots remain committed to reunification through a functional bi-zonal, bi-communal federation'' and noted that ''the failure of the last initiative did not alter our commitment, nor our willingness to work resolutely towards the reunification of our country.''

He said that the UN solution plan, known as the Annan plan, which was rejected by the Greek Cypriot community in a referendum, ''was not accepted precisely because it did not provide for the reunification of our divided country nor addressed core issues and key concerns in a satisfactory manner'' and that ''the search for a settlement firmly remains for us in the UN framework, within the context of the good offices mission mandated to the Secretary General by the Security Council.''

Regarding the Middle East and the recent crisis in Lebanon, he said ''Cyprus had from the very first moment of the outbreak of violence supported the calls for an immediate ceasefire and joined in the effort to provide assistance both to the Lebanese people and to evacuees.''

''Unfortunately it took almost a month for the Security Council to discharge its responsibilities effectively towards the peoples of the region, causing disappointment and frustration,'' he said, adding that ''in parallel to the Lebanese crisis, the world continues to witness the deterioration of the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, with a heavy civilian toll and worsening humanitarian conditions.''

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