Source Pravda.Ru

Greek president Karolos Papoulias stresses need to work with Cyprus to resolve island's division

Greek President Karolos Papoulias began a visit to Cyprus Sunday, saying the start of Turkey's EU membership talks meant Athens and Nicosia must continue working closely together to resolve a dispute with Ankara over the island's division.

Papoulias arrived in Cyprus on Sunday morning for a four-day official visit, his first since taking office in February.

Papoulias said he was proud to be in Cyprus and expressed hope that the next time he was on the island he would "be able to visit the beautiful north because the island would be unified".

Cyprus has been separated into a Greek-Cypriot controlled south and Turkish-occupied north since 1974, when Turkey invaded following an Athens-backed coup by supporters of union with Greece.

In his welcoming speech, Greek Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos thanked Greece for supporting efforts to reunify the island, AP reports.

A.M.