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FM: UN Security Council will not abandon Cyprus
2003-03-13 16:34:08

Larnaca, Mar 13 (CNA) -- The UN Security Council would not abandon efforts to reach a just solution in Cyprus despite the Secretary General's disappointment over the Cyprus talks deadlock in The Hague earlier this week, Cyprus Foreign Minister George Iacovou has said.

Speaking on his return from The Hague here last night, Iacovou also noted that many of his foreign counterparts as well as Dutch officials had expressed the impression that the blame for the collapse of the talks lies with the Turkish side and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

He added that after the Turkish refusal to put the UN Secretary-General's plan for a Cyprus settlement to a referendum for approval, a matter of credibility is raised for Turkey's ruling party leader Tayyip Erdogan, who kept giving reassurances that he wished for the solution of the Cyprus problem. |

''During my visit in The Hague I had the opportunity to discuss with many Foreign Ministers, the Dutch Prime Minister himself, as well as the Dutch Foreign Minister and I can convey their impression that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leader are those who led the longstanding initiative of the Secretary General to a disaster,'' Iacovou noted.

Asked to comment on Annan's statement in The Hague that the UN effort had reached "the end of the road", Iacovou said that he doesn't share this view and expressed his certainty that the UN Security Council ''despite the disappointment felt by the Secretary General will not abandon the Cyprus issue and will continue to show interest''.

Asked if he plans to visit New York, he expressed the view that at this stage due to the Iraqi crisis such a trip would not be fruitful.

Asked to comment on T/C leader's statement that he wishes to continue talks with Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos, the Foreign Minister said: ''It is not the first time we hear such a statement from Mr. Denktash. He always tries to drive away the interest of the international community, the UN SG and other organisations and appear of an equal status with the legal President of the Cyprus Republic.''

Asked to comment on the change in Erdogan's stance, he said that for the international community, a matter of credibility is raised concerning the Turkish politician.

''The whole initiative was based on his personal assurances that Mr. Denktash will either sign (a Cyprus solution) or somebody else would sign in his place,? the Cypriot Minister said.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.

UN efforts to secure a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem, based on UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's third plan, came to an abrupt halt on Monday when Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash said he was not prepared to agree to a referendum on the UN plan and raised fundamental objections to basic points in it.

CNA/ES/KN/GP/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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