16 April, 2007
Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis on Saturday announced he was undertaking the role of mediator at all European and international fora for the return of Famagusta to its legal residents.
The assurance was made by Kaklamanis during the commencement of the Famagusta Municipality's campaign for the signing of a Declaration demanding the return of the Turkish-occupied town to its lawful residents.
Kaklamanis and Famagusta Mayor Alexis Galanos placed the first two signatures on the Declaration for the return of Famagusta.
The commencement of the campaign and signature ceremony took place at the Famagusta Cultural Centre in Derynia, which is situated at the foot of the occupied town.
Addressing the event, Kaklamanis said he conveyed the solidarity and support of the citizens of Athens "who wish to unite their forces and voice with yours in the struggle to vie the town of Famagusta life once again".
"Many call Famagusta, due to its abandonment for 33 years, as a 'ghost town'," Kaklamanis noted, adding, however, that "personally, I prefer to see it as a visition-town, a destination-town, a symbol-town...I prefer to see it as the 'Ithaca' of our struggles and demands for the integration of Cyprus".
Galanos, in turn, stressed that in order for Turkey's accession negotiations with the EU to move on to new chapters, the 'chapter' of Famagusta's return to its rightful inhabitants must be first settled.
The campaign for the Famagusta refugees' signatures to the Declaration for the return of the town, under the slogan "Give your town a voice", will run through April 22.
Kaklamanis further said that no plan for a Cyprus solution could succeed so long as occupation troops remained on the island republic, adding that "I, today, put forward again the demand of all the free people that the occupation force leaves" Cyprus.
Source: Athens News Agency