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Government moved by Turkish Cypriot rally
2003-01-15 12:46:03

Nicosia, Jan 15 (CNA) ? The government has expressed admiration for yesterday's mass protest rally organised by Turkish Cypriots in the occupied north of Cyprus.

Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said the government was deeply moved by the demonstration in central Nicosia and said that the Turkish Cypriots have conveyed the message that there is a historic responsibility to resolve the Cyprus problem, reunite the island and accede to the European Union.|

He said the Greek Cypriot side should convey the message that it is "ready for a solution to the Cyprus problem".

Referring to statements made by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the rally, Papapetrou said "we have never had a similar intervention in all the years that the UN has been dealing with the Cyprus problem".

The Spokesman said Kofi Annan has sent a clear message that "he has not only sided with the demonstrators but also congratulated them and asked them to continue their mobilizations for a solution to the Cyprus problem, based on his plan".

Papapetrou said it was very moving that few Turkish Cypriots "dared" to take to the rally a flag of the Republic of Cyprus.

UN-sponsored direct talks resumed here Wednesday on the basis of Annan's proposal, with a view to reaching an agreement by the end of February.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island's territory.


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