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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 04-11-13
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 Cypriot President to sign book of condolences for Arafat
Cypriot President to sign book of condolences for Arafat
Nicosia, Nov 13 (CNA) - President of the Republic of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos will sign the book of condolences for Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat today at the offices of the Palestinian Authority in Nicosia.
 Greek Premierís vision is to see a united Cyprus
Greek Premiers vision is to see a united Cyprus
Nicosia, Nov 13 (CNA) ''Our vision is to see a united and free Republic of Cyprus, which will not be a harbour of tension and friction but a factor of peace and stability and a bridge of cooperation for the entire region,'' Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said today.
Addressing a special session of the House of Representatives on the occasion of his visit to the island, Karamanlis said ''my firm position is and remains that national issues demand national understanding, unity and accord.''
He said he was deeply moved to address the House of Representatives, and the islands political leadership, noting that our efforts for a Cyprus settlement, within the UN framework, continue and will continue with incessant efforts,'' adding that the islands future rests with its reunification; a peaceful coexistence, cooperation, development and progress for all its people.''
Karamanlis expressed the view that Cyprus accession to the EU can and should constitute a catalyst for a functional and viable solution to the Cyprus problem.''
''This, however, is the will of all Greek Cypriots and the majority of Turkish Cypriots and the Cyprus political leadership,'' Karamanlis said, adding that the Greek and Greek Cypriot political leadership remain committed to pursuing a Cyprus settlement, within the framework of the Annan Plan, based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation.
Karamanlis praised all previous Cypriot and Greek governments efforts to attain Cyprus accession to the EU.
Cyprus accession to the EU is a historic milestone in its history, because it created new conditions of safety, development, welfare of its citizens, new conditions to achieve a functional and viable solution,'' he added.
The Greek Premier said that ''accession should become the starting point and a new prospect to effectively unite Cyprus so that all its residents, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots can carry on for a better tomorrow.''
Karamanlis said Greece favours Turkeys European aspirations, because a European Turkey can act to everyones advantage, he added.
However, he said Turkeys EU course depends on herself, her efforts to harmonise with the constitutional and political EU acquis, from its internal situation and external policy, as well as its attitude towards the Republic of Cyprus.
Addressing the special session, House of Representatives Speaker Christofias referred to his visit to the Greek capital earlier this week, noting these regular and frequent contacts, between the governments, parliaments and the political leadership in general, indeed underline the importance of the brotherly ties between Greece and Cyprus.
The Greek Prime Minister's presence in Cyprus, ''only a few months after assuming office, bears evidence to the steadfast interest and undivided solidarity expressed towards the continuing struggle of the Cypriot people, both by himself and his government, as well as by the Greek people and its political leadership,'' he added.
Christofias said Cyprus is reciprocating this support and solidarity with the same generosity at a time of need for Greece, too, in this difficult era, an era, in which the so-called new world order has overturned established balances and has been causing turbulences on the international scene and in particular in areas, which have always been a source of concern for security and stability and which are very close to our two countries.''
The House President said that after the referendum of 24 April, we did not abandon our effort to reach the solution of a bicommunal, bizonal federation.''
''The majority of Greek Cypriots did not reject the solution. They rejected this particular proposal, for the reasons we have repeatedly explained since last April. The way ahead is still open, both because our will is there and the elements are there, which encourage our side to work hard, making the most out of Cyprus' accession to the European Union and Turkey's European prospects,'' he said.
He expressed hope that our European partners will assist in this effort, by conveying the right message to Turkey, that is the wish to see Turkey being a European country, respecting our common values and principles, but also recognising its partners-to-be without any discrimination.''
Christofias noted that if, in the end, a date is granted to Turkey, ''utilising that country's accession course will constitute the continuation of our strategy for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem as soon as possible, by promoting our declared position for pursuing a number of changes to the Annan Plan, changes that will neither alter the Plan's philosophy, nor will they affect the rights and interests of our Turkish Cypriot compatriots, changes that will improve the functionality of the solution and which, consequently, will be to the benefit of all Cypriots, making the solution viable and averting the recurrence of past evils, which emanated from the system's malfunctions or from outside interventions.''
Only thus, he said, will the solution meet the expectations of both Greek and Turkish Cypriots for living together in conditions of security and meaningful cooperation.''
''In the meantime and until this goal is achieved, and further to our direct contacts with our Turkish Cypriot compatriots on the political level, our side is not sparing any efforts, energy or measures intended to improve the Turkish Cypriots standard of living, both on our own initiative and in cooperation with our partners in the European Union,'' he added.
''We favour,'' he said, economic assistance to the Turkish Cypriots and the facilitation of trade and transactions, with only one precondition, that of maintaining legality, so that any action in this context will not constitute downgrading of the Republic of Cyprus or upgrading of the illegal occupation regime,'' and stressed that we expect all our EU partners to respect these inviolable principles of international law.''
Earlier in the day, Karamanlis visited the graves of Cypriots who fought against British colonial rule in the 1950s.
A wreath, which Karamanlis placed upon the graves of those who sacrificed their lives for democracy, read, And the dead bodies, imprisoned, praise freedom.''
Karamanlis and his entourage observed a minutes silence and then the Premier signed the visitors book and wrote, I am deeply moved and awed for standing here at the site of the torture of the brave men who fell for freedom. The Republic of Cyprus accession to the EU as a full and equal member would have made them proud.''
 Greek Premier concludes visit to Cyprus
Greek Premier concludes visit to Cyprus
Nicosia, Nov 13 (CNA) Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis concluded his two-day visit to the island, the first after his election, and departed early this afternoon with his entourage.
Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos accompanied the Greek Premier to the airport, where a red carpet departure ceremony was held with the National Guard band playing the national anthem and the Premier inspecting a guard of honour.
Greek Orthodox Bishop of Kition Chrysostomos, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Justice and Education, other officials as well as the military and police heads were present at the airport.
Karamanlis was accompanied by Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Petros Molyviatis, Government Spokesman Theodoros Rousopoulos, Deputy Foreign Minister Ioannis Valinakis and other officials.
During his visit, Karamanlis and his entourage held talks with President Papadopoulos and Cypriot officials. He also addressed an extraordinary session of the House of Representatives and met parliamentary party leaders.
 Cyprus pledges to continue solidarity with Palestinian people
Cyprus pledges to continue solidarity with Palestinian people
Nicosia, Nov 13 (CNA) Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos and House of Representatives President Demetris Christofias signed the book of condolences opened for the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat today, paying tribute to the man who struggled to make the dream of an independent Palestinian state a reality.
President Papadopoulos told reporters that on behalf of the people of Cyprus, the government and me personally, we express our deep sorrow over the death of the leader of the Palestinian people, Yasser Arafat, and we hope that the Palestinian people will find in the memory of Arafat the symbol to continue the struggle for justification of their noble cause."
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