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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-02-22

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos described as excellent the meeting he had in Athens with Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    At the same time, he expressed his gratitude to Greek President Karolos Papoulias for the interest and love he shows for Cyprus.

    Speaking at Larnaca Airport on his return from Athens after talks in the Greek capital, President Papadopoulos said the visit was part of his regular contacts with the Greek government.

    The visit took place in the usual, excellent climate of understanding and there was agreement on all issues which were examined the President said.

    He said President Papoulias interrupted his visit to Yiannena to return to Athens to meet with Papadopoulos.

    He asked to be fully informed where the issue of the implementation of the July 8 Agreement stands and which are the obstacles preventing it, the President said.

    The President also said that the issue of property was not examined in his talks in Athens while the Greek government was informed on the issue of Cyprus` intention to explore and exploit possible hydrocarbon deposits off its coast.

    Answering questions, President Papadopoulos said neither he nor the Greek government believe that Turkish Cypriot Ferdi Sabit Soyer was invited to Brussels in his capacity as so called prime minister of the illegal regime in the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus.

    Asked whether the government has submitted its position to the German government for the issue of direct trade with the occupied north, President Papadopoulos replied in the negative, adding that our positions are known. We are trying to reach a conclusion, if there is, which will satisfy both aspects of the decision of 26th April 2004, which provides for the economic strengthening of the Turkish Cypriots and the lifting of the so called embargo, which we do not agree that there is such an embargo.

    The President said that what is equally important in the decision is to achieve economic integration which will promote the reunification of our country. We want it to be an arrangement which will succeed in both aims and avert the encouragement of secessionist trends, he added.

    President Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat agreed on 8 July 2006, during a meeting in Nicosia in the presence of senior UN official Ibrahim Gambari, to begin a process of bicommunal discussions on issues that affect the day-to-day life of the people and concurrently those that concern substantive issues, both contributing to a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem.

    Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.


    President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Renee van der Linden said it is not understandable that there has been no progress so far regarding the July 8th, 2006, agreement to prepare the ground for the Cyprus talks.

    We have to take the agreement of 8th of July extremely serious. It is un-understandable that until now there is no progress. In the agreement both communities said that the status quo is unacceptable``, he said, noting that ``you have to work on a solution and this asks for concessions on both sides, and painful concessions in some sectors. But this is worthwhile, he stressed.

    In statements during a press conference marking the end of his visit here, van der Linden called on politicians in Cyprus to take bold steps.

    He also asked for the opening of the Ledra street crossing point, saying that there is no reason for excuses.

    There is no reason at all to wait any longer for the opening of the Ledras street. It has to open immediately and not to use arguments and excuses to wait. It is for the interest of both communities, he said and encouraged both communities to continue opening more crossing points.

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