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Cypriots Themselves Must Find Solution To Dispute

Cypriots Themselves Must Find Solution To Dispute, Greek Official Tells UN

New York, Sep 27 2008

6:10PM

Only Cypriots themselves can find a solution regarding the Mediterranean island’s reunification, Greece <"http://www.un.org/ga/63/generaldebate/pdf/greece.pdf">said at the United Nations today, welcoming the role played by the world body in facilitating a “mutually acceptable” solution to the dispute.

“Greece has consistently supported Cyprus in its natural and justified desire to see the withdrawal of all occupation forces as part of a settlement for its reunification as a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with inter-communal equality, a single sovereignty, a single citizenship, and a single international persona,” said Dora Bakoyannis, Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Over four decades have passed since the 1974 “invasion of Cyprus,” and “Turkey continues to occupy over one-third of the island’s territory with nearly 40,000 troops,” characterizing this as an “unacceptable situation.”

Addressing the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate, she noted that UN resolutions and principles exist to serve as the framework for a solution.

Greece welcomes the recently resumed talks between Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat under UN auspices, Ms. Bakoyannis said.

A successful outcome requires negotiations between the two communities “without artificial deadlines and arbitration,” she said.

“We shall continue to do everything possible to facilitate a settlement and hope that Turkey will also demonstrate flexibility and goodwill toward that end,” the Minister said.

The full-fledged negotiations between Mr. Christofias and Mr. Talat, which began earlier this month, are slated to resume on 8 October, with an initial focus on issues of governance and power-sharing.

In May, Mr. Christofias and Mr. Talat committed to a partnership that will comprise a Federal Government with a single international identity, along with a Turkish Cypriot Constituent State and a Greek Cypriot Constituent State, which will be of equal status.

ENDS

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