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|Tuesday, January 16, 2001, updated at 15:29(GMT+8)|
China Supports Early Solution to Cyprus Issue
At a meeting with Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides, Hu said the two parties should reduce the differences between them and build up mutual trust through negotiations on the basis of relevant U.N. resolutions.
China has all along held that Cyprus' independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and its stance of non-alignment should be respected, while U.N. resolutions on the issue should be carried out honestly, said Hu, who is on the first day of his two-day official visit to Cyprus.
An early solution to the Cyprus issue is not only in conformity with the fundamental interests of the two peoples, but is also conducive to the region's peace, stability and development, he said.
China supports the efforts made by the UN secretary general for a settlement of the issue and will make contribution to a fair and reasonable solution to the issue together with other countries, Hu pointed out.
China also wishes the planned sixth round of negotiations a success between the two parties involved in the problem, he said.
Cyprus has been divided into the Greek Cypriots-dominated south and Turkish Cypriots-controlled north since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the northern third of the Mediterranean island after a failed coup by the Greek Cypriots seeking union with Greece.
The Turkish Cypriots established a self-claimed republic in northern Cyprus in 1983, which is only recognized by Turkey.
Clerides told Hu during the meeting that Cyprus highly appreciates China's efforts made in the U.N. regarding the Cyprus issue, expressing the hope that China, as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, will play an even greater role in seeking a solution to the issue.
Both Hu and Clerides praised the smooth development of the Sino- Cypriot relations since the two countries established diplomatic relations 30 years ago. During the talks, the two leaders reached a broad consensus on the friendly relations and cooperation in economy, trade, culture, science and technology and other areas.
Hu also appreciated Cypriot government's position in adhering to the "one China" principle and refraining from any official contacts with Taiwan.
Clerides also voiced his country's firm support for China's entry into the World Trade Organization, saying China will then play an important and constructive role in the world trade.
After the talks, Hu and Clerides attended a signing ceremony of an agreement between the two governments on encouragement and protection of investment, and another two agreements between China's Zhongxing Telecom Ltd and Cyprus Telecommunications Authority concerning cooperation in telecommunications.
Later Monday, Hu also held talks with President of House of Representatives Spyros Kyprioanou. The two leaders hailed the role of the parliaments of the two countries in boosting the Sino- Cypriot friendly relations and cooperation.
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