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Verheugen calls on Denktash to listen to Turkish Cypriots
2003-01-31 14:03:39

Constantinople, Jan 31 (CNA) -- EU Enlargement Commissioner, Gunter Verheugen, has called on Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to listen to the voices of the Turkish Cypriots for a united Cyprus, member of the European Union.

"His (Denktash's) effort to win time will not yield results. He will not achieve anything", Verheugen said speaking to the Turkish NTV television network.

"I suggest he takes into consideration (Recep Tayip) Erdogan's and the UN Secretary-General's recommendations. Both suggested to Mr. Denktash not to ignore the voice of the people, he must listen to it", Verheugen said.

"The people's opinion and their demands for the future are for a united Cyprus, member of the EU. That is clear", Verheugen added.|

He insisted on the 28 February timeframe and said if an agreement is achieved for a solution after this date, then the northern part of Cyprus will enter without special negotiation.

Verheugen said if both Cyprus leaders want to take part in the ceremony of the signing of the Accession Treaty, then they must find a solution.

He described the Turkish government's stance on Cyprus as "extremely constructive".

President Glafcos Clerides and Denktash, in the presence of UN Secretary- General's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto, are engaged in intense negotiations to find a settlement within the timeframe of 28 February, as set by Annan, in an effort to give enough time for referenda to be prepared and Cyprus to sign the Accession Treaty with the European Union reunited on 16 April.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island's territory.


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