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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 03-04-18
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 Simitis arrives in Cyprus saying efforts for settlement continue
Simitis arrives in Cyprus saying efforts for settlement continue
Nicosia, Apr 18 (CNA) - Greek Prime Minister and President of the European Council Costas Simitis arrived in Cyprus tonight, assuring that efforts in the context of the UN to reach a viable solution of the Cyprus problem would continue.
Speaking at Larnaca Airport, Simitis said Cyprus' accession to the EU would be better for all Cypriots ''if we can overcome this bad inheritance of the political problem''.
Welcoming the Greek Prime Minister, President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos said that with his visit to Cyprus Simitis reaffirms the concrete support of Hellenism to the common struggle for the reunification of the people and the island through a functional and viable solution of the Cyprus problem.
President Papadopoulos thanked Simitis, his government and the political world of Greece for their contribution ''in the materialisation of the dream of Cyprus' accession to the EU''.
''As President of the European Council you are visiting Cyprus first and we note this symbolism'', President Papadopoulos said, adding that ''as Prime Minister of Greece you are visiting Cyprus again to reaffirm the concrete support of Hellenism to the common struggle for the reunification of our people and our country through a functional and viable solution of the Cyprus problem''.
He said Simitis' presence on the island ''touches our people and feeds its expectations for a peaceful, safe, European and hopeful future, and our people completely trust your creative breath and contribution Mr. President in building this future, because it considers you the architect of the historic success of accession and the written guarantee of a happy tomorrow for Cyprus and its people''.
Simitis thanked the President and said he was ''very happy to be in Cyprus at this moment'', noting that this was his first stop in his tour of the 24 members of the bloc in the framework of preparations for the Salonica summit.
He said he was in Cyprus ''because two days ago we lived an historic moment, the Republic of Cyprus signed the Accession Treaty with the EU and is now in the European family and takes the place it deserves''.
Simitis said ''this was not easy and I want to congratulate the people of Cyprus for their efforts''.
''Of course, Greece helped and I thank you on behalf of all Greeks for your kind words. But the result was not only the consequence of the Greek presence, it was the consequence of the efforts of the Greek people'', he said.
He added that ''we did not reach this historic point in the present and future of Cyprus easily and without effort''.
Simitis furthermore praised the efforts of Cypriot Yiannos Kranidiotis, the late Alternate Foreign Minister of Greece, as well as all the leaderships of Greece and Cyprus for their efforts in achieving the island's accession to the EU.
He noted that ''the political problem of Cyprus remains unsolved'', adding that ''we, the Cypriot and Greek leadership, made great efforts to be able to solve it and everyone knows why it was not solved and where the responsibility lies for the continuation of an unacceptable situation''.
''So, as President of the European Council and as Prime Minister of Greece, I would like to address the Turkish Cypriot community and reassure it that our efforts in the UN framework to find a viable and functional solution will continue'', he said.
He assured that ''we will not rest because we believe that the future of the island must be a future of cooperation and peace, because we believe that the step the Republic of Cyprus took, with its accession to the EU, will produce better things, will produce for all Cypriots, if we can overcome this bad inheritance of the political problem''.
 Warm welcome for Greek Premier
Warm welcome for Greek Premier
Nicosia, Apr 18 (CNA) -- Cypriots came out in their hundreds to welcome visiting Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, who arrived here on a 24-hour visit, the first of a tour of 24 European Union members.
Just outside Larnaca airport, the mayor of the city Andreas Moeseos, offered Simitis a bronze bust of Zinon Kitieus, a Cypriot born who won fame in ancient Athens.
''We thank you for everything you have done for us, for helping us to achieve our accession to the EU and for supporting us in our efforts to solve the Cyprus question,'' Moeseos said.
He said the gift was the least the people of Cyprus could give Simitis as an indication of gratitude and appreciation for all Greece has done.
Responding to the warm welcome, Simitis said Cyprus now belongs to Europe, after it signed on Wednesday the Accession Treaty.
''This creates new conditions of security, development but above all it creates new conditions which would enable us to achieve that which we are all striving for years, to reunite Cyprus,'' the premier said.
On his way to Nicosia, Simitis' motorcade stopped just outside Larnaca where the mayor of the village of Aradipou Christakis Limberis and a big crowd of people welcomed him.
 Simitis sees ''other means'' ahead to reach a settlement
Simitis sees ''other means'' ahead to reach a settlement
Nicosia, Apr 18 (CNA) -- Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis believes the future offers ''other means, other processes and other dates'' to help find a negotiated settlement in Cyprus.
He also said that there is political will both towards the Turkish Cypriot community and towards Turkey to overcome problems.
Addressing a large crowd, that gathered here tonight to welcome him to Cyprus, Simitis said the abolition of the dividing line in Cyprus can pave the way for Turkey's accession to the European Union.
''There will be a continuation (of efforts for solution) because we want to settle the problem. There are other means ahead of us, we have procedures, we have dates which give us the opportunity. We also have the policy as well as the political will towards the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey to overcome problems,'' Simitis stressed.
The Greek premier said Greece and Cyprus will work for peace and cooperation and are set to succeed in achieving this.
He said the Green Line that cuts Nicosia into two will exist as long as Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots do not understand that it can be overcome and it can be abolished.
''Our common goal is to overcome the past and solve the political problem, to overcome the consequences of 1974 (Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus' northern part),'' he added.
He said that there is proof that the Greeks and the Greek Cypriots accept the latest UN peace proposal and that we want peace, friendship and cooperation.
A Greek Cypriot woman and a Turkish Cypriot woman offered Simitis a symbolic gift of a reunited Cyprus. He pointed out that this gesture shows the way ahead, the way for future cooperation.
Nicosia Mayor Michael Zampelas gave him the capital's medal and offered him an honorary diploma on the occasion of his visit. The Mayor of Aglandjia Andreas Petrou made Simitis an honorary citizen of his municipality, offering him the key to Aglandjia.
''Nicosia, divided at present, will not remain such for long, we welcome you all here and thank you sincerely for your substantive efforts in our accession course,'' Zampelas said.
Addressing the Greek premier, Petrou expressed gratitude ''for the arduous task you have made and the successful conclusion of our accession course.''
 Papadopoulos hosts dinner in honour of Simitis
Papadopoulos hosts dinner in honour of Simitis
Nicosia, Apr 18 (CNA) - The historic event of Cyprus' accession to the European Union would not slow down efforts to solve the island's political problem, Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said this evening in a speech during a dinner hosted in honour of Greek Prime Minister and President of the European Council Costas Simitis, who arrived here earlier.
The President praised the contribution of Greece and Simitis personally to Cyprus' EU membership, adding that if joining the bloc could contribute towards a settlement, in the UN framework, then this would be the most substantive meaning and contribution of accession.
President Papadopoulos welcomes Simitis to ''European Cyprus'' and expressed ''our gratitude for your personal decisive contribution, for the active support of your government and the substantive assistance of the Greek political forces in the successful conclusion of the joint efforts for the accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the EU''.
He added that he had the privilege to sign the Accession Treaty in Athens two days ago, noting that ''this historic privilege was the result of the efforts of all my predecessors, the House of Representatives, the negotiating team, state officials and above all the people of Cyprus for making sacrifices and paying the price of our harmonisation with the acquis communautaire''.
The President said that the signing of the Accession Treaty ''signaled the successful epilogue of a long effort and the optimistic prologue of a new chapter in the history of Cyprus''.
''The traumatic experiences and consequences of our great national tragedy could not hinder the creative spirit and the systematic effort of our people to meet all the criteria and all the preconditions for our accession to the EU'', he said, adding that ''what remains now is to achieve a solution to our national question''.
He said the solution should not be ''a fragile and dilapidated settlement, but a durable, functional, viable and permanent solution, that will reunite our people and our country and will make the implementation of the acquis communautaire possible throughout the Republic of Cyprus''.
''I stressed two days ago in Athens and I repeat now that our priority is and remains the solution of the Cyprus problem. The historic event of our accession to the EU does not slow down or cut short our efforts to work and cooperate for a solution of our problem'', he added.
He assured that ''our first and main interest is a solution of the Cyprus problem, within the parametres of the Annan plan'', adding that ''if Cyprus' accession to the EU can contribute to this solution, in the context of the UN, this will be the most substantive and the most significant meaning and contribution of the accession political action''.
Referring to the Turkish Cypriots in relation to Cyprus' accession to the EU, President Papadopoulos said ''the sincere wish and the real interest of the Turkish Cypriots stumbled on the anachronistic mentality and harmful intransigence of their leadership and Turkey''.
''The road, of course, has not closed. It remains open. And it awaits our Turkish Cypriot compatriots to be left free to walk with us, so that together we can share the benefits of accession to the EU and to build a common future, in a common and reunited homeland, without the dividing walls and lines, without the stigma of the only divided country in our undivided continent'', he said.
President Papadopoulos praised the contribution of Cypriot Yiannos Kranidiotis, the late Alternate Foreign Minister of Greece, in Cyprus' European course.
The President also praised the contribution of Greece and noted that the success has the ''personal seal'' of Simitis, who was ''the substantive factor of this success''.
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