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Greek President Urges EU to Assist Cyprus Peace Effort
2009-02-24 11:09:00

Athens, Feb 18 - The President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias has urged the EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn to provide assistance in the Cyprus problem.

President Papoulias received on Wednesday in Athens the newly elected AKEL Secretary General Andros Kyprianou, whom he congratulated on his election.

President Papoulias told Mr. Kyprianou that he has knowledge about Olli Rehn’s statements that the EU is ready to assist efforts towards a political settlement in Cyprus. “If they want to help, let them do it, he noted. “We are ready” for that, Mr. Kyprianou responded.

Mr. Kyprianou conveyed to President Papoulias, Cyprus President Demetris Christofias’s regards and appreciation for the support Athens provides to Cyprus.

Mr. Kyprianou met also the President of the Greek Parliament Demetris Sioufas, who has assured him that the Hellenic Parliament will continue to support a solution of the Cyprus problem, based on UN resolutions.

Mr. Sioufas referred to the excellent level of relations between the Parliaments of Greece and Cyprus and noted that the present Speaker of the Cyprus House of Representatives Marios Garoyian, as well as his predecessor Demetris Christofias have contributed to that.

Mr. Kyprianou briefed Mr. Sioufas on the latest development in Cyprus and the initiatives President Christofias has undertaken in order to break the deadlock and find a solution.

“Greece is the major ally of Cyprus in the struggle to free and reunite Cyprus,” Mr. Kyprianou stressed and added: “Without the substantial support of Greece, Cyprus would have faced a lot of difficulties in its European accession route.”

On Wednesday, the US Senator Richard Durbin and Illinois State Treasurer Alexis Giannoulias held a series of meetings in Athens with the Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, the Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyiannis, the President of PASOK Giorgos Papandreou, and Demetris Sioufas.

During their meetings they discussed, among other issues, the Cyprus problem. Mr. Durbin noted that during their visit he met representatives of the two communities and expressed hope that “the direct negotiations will bring unity and peace.”

“The same message we will convey to Ankara,” he added. The US officials have already visited Cyprus and will visit Ankara as well.

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