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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 06-07-20

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    July 20, 2006, marks 32 years since the Turkish invasion and subsequent occupation of Cyprus` northern third, the consequence of which are still felt across the island.

    Today, Cyprus pays tribute to those killed during the invasion and those still missing, with memorials and other events in the government controlled areas of the Republic.

    Air-raid sirens wailed today at 0530 local time (0230 GMT), when the Turkish invasion began 32 years ago with the landing of Turkish troops on the island`s northern shores.

    At 0830 local time a memorial service for the army officers and soldiers killed during the invasion will take place at Makedonitissa Tomb in Nicosia, in the presence of Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, other officials and a delegation of the Greek parliament.

    Furthermore, at 1000 local time an official memorial ceremony will be held at Faneromeni Church in Nicosia in the presence of President Papadopoulos. Foreign Minister Yiorgos Lillikas will give the eulogy.

    At 1200 local time church bells will toll mournfully for 15 minutes.

    A series of other anti-occupation events will take place during the day. Political parties have issued statements condemning the Turkish invasion and occupation.


    Both Larnaca port and airport are bursting at the seams as thousands of foreign nationals are being evacuated from Lebanon via Cyprus. This morning 12 planes were parked at Larnaca airport while another half a dozen were waiting for free spaces. The departure lounges are swarming with thousands of people standing by for arrangements to fly home.

    Last night, French battleship ``Jean de Vienne`` with 319 passengers, mostly French, docked at Larnaca port, followed by Greek ``Alkion`` with 490 passengers, and Greek cruise ship ``Orient Queen``, hired by the United States, with 1,066 US and other citizens on board. The Americans were taken to a specially formed area to accommodate them at the State Fair grounds in Nicosia.

    This morning, ferryboat ``Ierapetra`` docked at Larnaca port with 900 passengers on board to join armoured vehicle carrier ``Ikaria`` which brought about 1,200 Greeks, Cypriots and foreign nationals. Cruise ship ``Serenade``, hired by the British government for its citizens, also arrived this morning, along with cruise ship ``Blue Dome`` and ``Grand Vent``. At 2120 yesterday, the Royal Navy HMS York docked at Limassol port, carrying 334 British and other foreign nationals who fled Lebanon, and at 0200 today HMS Gloucester arrived with 528 people on board, mostly British.


    Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said that the final settlement of the Cyprus problem will be a solution of necessity and compromise, but pointed out that the victim cannot be expected to pay the whole price and the immolator be rewarded for its crime.

    Speaking last night at the Presidential Palace at an event to mark the anniversary of the coup of 15 July 1974 and the Turkish invasion of 20 July 1974, President Papadopoulos said ``we are ready to pay the bitter and painful price of an honourable, even painful, compromise, we are willing and ready for talks for such a compromise.``

    He reiterated that the Greek Cypriot side maintains its position for a settlement based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation, adding that ``on this basis, we are seeking a functional and viable solution,`` which would bring about the reunification of the island, the society, the economy, the institutions and the people, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

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