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FM:Turkish side will suffer repercussions if there is no solution
2003-01-21 13:55:11

Nicosia, Jan 21 (CNA) ? Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has called on the Turkish side to do whatever possible to solve the Cyprus problem by 16 April, when Cyprus will sign the European Union Accession Treaty.

The minister stressed that if there is no political settlement, "the Turkish side will be faced with the consequences".|

Kasoulides met here Tuesday with Chief EU negotiator on Cyprus Leopold Maurer who said the EU was very clear that the next deadline for Cyprus is 28 February, a target date set by the UN to enable the incorporation of the terms of the agreement into the text of the Accession Treaty.

Replying to questions, Kasoulides said the EU representatives stressed the significance the EU attaches to this window of opportunity, which Brussels believe will close with the signing of the Accession Treaty.

The Foreign Minister said that "after signing the Accession Treaty, if by then there is no solution, the Republic of Cyprus will join the EU and the Turkish Cypriot community would have to accede to the entity that is already an EU member, when there is a settlement.''

"It is clear that it is in the interest of the Turkish side to do everything possible to solve the Cyprus problem before 16 April", Kasoulides said, and pointed out that "our side will not be affected but the Turkish side will suffer the repercussions if the Cyprus problem is not solved by 16 April".

The minister said in this respect the UN had talked about a tragedy if no settlement is achieved by the end of February, as set out in a UN peace plan.

The UN, Kasoulides added, was right in criticising Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash because such remarks help those Turkish Cypriots who are demonstrating against Denktash's policy as well as the Turkish government, which has yet to secure the full support of the Turkish establishment.

Maurer said the 28 February was referred to in the UN plan bearing in mind that the Accession Treaty will be signed on 16 April.

UN-led efforts to reunite Cyprus, divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island's territory, have so far failed to deliver.

CNA/GS/EC/MM/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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