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02 October, 2002
Prime Minister Costas Simitis has assured that Greece will not stop backing Cyprus in its struggle for a comprehensive, just, permanent and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, based on UN resolutions.
He gave the assurance in a congratulatory telegram to President of the Republic Glafcos Clerides on the occasion of Tuesday's 42nd anniversary of the island's independence.
Simitis said Cyprus' accession to the European Union ''is Greece's top national priority''.
''Your excellent progress in the accession negotiations justifies our expectations that Cyprus can, very soon, join the European Union, to benefit all the residents of the island'', he said.
He also extended the Greek government's wishes and assured ''Greece will not cease to stand by in your struggle for a comprehensive, just, permanent and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, based on UN resolutions''.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.
The island opened accession negotiations with the EU in 1998 and is expected to be called by the Copenhagen European Council in December to join the Union's ranks.
Source: Athens News Agency