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UPDATED: 08:48, December 29, 2004
Cyprus wants solution as soon as possible: president
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Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said Tuesday the Greek Cypriot side wants to find a solution to the issue of Cyprus as soon as possible.

"We want a solution the soonest possible," Papadopoulos told the press when asked to comment on remarks by Turkey's main opposition leader, who said the United States and Britain should exert pressure on the Greek Cypriot side to agree to a political settlement by Oct. 3, when Ankara is set to begin accession negotiations with the European Union (EU).

Papadopoulos said there was no official information about a visit to Cyprus in January by UN Under Secretary for Political Affairs Sir Kieran Prendergast, as suggested by some press reports.

He stressed what matters is not the solution but the contents of the solution.

He accused Turkish side of seeking a solution which "will dissolve the Republic of Cyprus and replace it with some kind of entity in a bid to avoid recognition of the republic."

Cyprus has been divided into the Greek Cypriot south and Turkish Cypriot north since 1974 when Turkish troops seized the northern one-third of the island following a failed coup seeking union with Greece.

Turkey does not recognize the official Greek-Cypriot government and the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in north is recognized only by Ankara.

Source: Xinhua

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