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2002-12-31 14:29:29

Televised message by THE President of the Republic Mr Glafcos Clerides to the Cyprus people
Just a few hours before the New Year, I communicate with you to wish you health, progress and happiness. Awaiting for the New Year to come I wish to share with you very briefly, some feelings and thoughts that I am certain concern us all.

The people and leadership of Cyprus justifiably feel joy and pride because after a long and difficult course, we managed to secure a decision for Cyprus to be granted accession to the European Union. It is generally accepted that this is a historic achievement, the most important achievement following the establishment of the Cyprus Republic.

The support provided by the Greek government was of decisive importance for this success. Tonight I would like, once again, to publicly repeat our thanks and gratitude for this assistance and also for the support of the political world of Greece, the Greek people, foreign states and distinguished personalities. Particularly I wish to thank the Greek political parties, because, being aware of their historic responsibilities and maintaining a politically responsible stance have not used the Cyprus problem to serve party interests.

Tonight I feel the need to address myself particularly to our Turkish Cypriot compatriots. I assure them that we are equally interested in their own peaceful and creative future, for their security, progress and prosperity in a united Cyprus which will be a member of the European Union. We are already working in this direction and we will spare no effort in order to achieve a solution to the Cyprus problem. A solution that could come about with a spirit of consensus following negotiations, in the framework of the good offices of the United Nations Secretary-General. To achieve this aim we expect them to make their own contribution.

On the eve of the New Year I wish our Turkish Cypriot compatriots all the best. Especially I wish that the New Year will be the landmark year during which our common vision for a united Cyprus will be realised.

These are moments of joy. I shall not deal with political issues and I confine myself to expressing my good wishes. Concluding, I express special wishes to the refugees, the enclaved and the relatives of the missing persons, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots alike. I wish that the New Year will fulfill everyone's aspirations.

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