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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:08, September 19, 2005
Cyprus reaffirms commitment to UN-brokered reunification
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Cyprus reaffirmed Sunday commitment to a UN-sponsored reunification of the island, pledging to make continued efforts to solve the issue by negotiations, the Cyprus News Agency reported.

The Cyprus issue is now at a "critical juncture" that calls for particular caution and resoluteness towards achieving a political settlement, Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos was quoted as addressing the 60th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

"On our part, we remain committed to a bizonal, bicommunal federal Cyprus, in line with what we consider to be the pillars of the survival of this model of settlement: high level agreements, UN resolutions and international laws," Papadopoulos said.

"We remain committed to holding negotiations under the umbrella of the United Nations and working for the creation of those conditions that will render fruitful negotiations feasible," the president said.

Within this context, the Cypriot government has been implementing substantial measures on the ground to build confidence and promote the economic development of the Turkish Cypriots.

The president said the Greek Cypriots rejected a UN-proposed solution in April 2004 because "it did not provide for and could not bring about the reunification of the country, its society, economy and institutions."

Papadopoulos said since then, the priority of the Greek Cypriot side has been to "revise the content, product and shortcomings of the last negotiation process, which led to the referendum" and at the same time "dispel certain misconceptions that were solidified as a result of the last negotiation process."

The Greek Cypriots rejected a UN blueprint for reunification, which envisaged two loosely tied zones based on ethnics on the Mediterranean island. The Turkish Cypriots approved the plan.

Cyprus has been divided into the Turkish-Cypriot north and the Greek-Cypriot south since 1974, when Turkish troops entered north of the island after a failed Greek-Cypriot coup seeking union with Greece.

Papadopoulos also called the European Union to play a role in the negotiations, which, he noted, will be catalytic.

The Greek Cypriot south entered the EU representing the whole island in May 2004 after it rejected the reunification plan, while the Turkish north, recognized only by Ankara, was left outside.

The president added there must also be a change in Turkey's attitude towards a reunified state on the island.

He expressed hope that enhanced cooperation between Greek and Turkish Cypriots would be conducive to achieving progress on different aspects of the Cyprus issue.

Source: Xinhua

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