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The Republic`s effort has been and continues to be to put an end to the illegality of the northern Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus and reunify the country in the framework of international law and EU principles on the basis of a bicommunal, bizonal federation, President Nicos Anastasiades has said, stressing that the island must be rid of the Turkish occupation troops.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The leaders of the two communities, President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have been engaged in UN-backed talks since May 2015 with the aim to reunite the island under a federal roof.

On 15 November 1983, Turkey instigated and endorsed a “unilateral declaration of independence” in the occupied area by the Turkish Cypriot leadership.

In a press release condemning the 33rd anniversary of the UDI of the Turkish occupied areas, the Presidency recalls that at the time “it led to a reaction of condemnation on the part of the international community which, through a number of UN Security Council resolutions, described the UDI as legally invalid and calls on all UN member states not to recognise its outcome.”

“Our effort has been and continues to be to terminate this illegality and in the framework of international law and EU principles to reunify our country on the basis of a bicommunal, bizonal federation and rid the country of Turkey`s occupation troops,” the President says.

The ongoing effort through negotiations between the leaders of the two communities and not between the illegal entity in the occupied areas and the Republic of Cyprus takes place in this context, the press release continues.

“An effort which will continue in the coming days in Switzerland, aiming to reach an agreement in the crucial chapter of territory, something which will allow us to take the next step, that of a multilateral conference on security after intensive negotiations take place,” he adds.

The presidency assures that “our will and determination continues to be strong, so that we can reach a solution which will be compatible with the principles and values of the United Nations and the European Union and will bring conditions of peace, security and prosperity to our country.”

President Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci were in Mont Pelerin, Switzerland, last week with their aides negotiating under UN auspices the chapter of territory and other outstanding issues. Talks in Switzerland wrapped up on November 11 and will continue next Sunday for three more days.

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