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EU: no direct negotiations with Turkish Cypriot regime
2003-03-13 16:37:41

Nicosia, Mar 13 (CNA) -- The European Union cannot hold direct negotiations with the self-styled regime in Turkish occupied Cyprus, EU Ambassador to Cyprus Adriaan van der Meer has stressed, noting that the regime is not recognized by anybody except Turkey.

He was speaking after a meeting with Communications and Works Minister Kikis Kazamias, with whom he discussed various issues relating to the accession of Cyprus to the EU.

Van der Meer's comments came in response to claims by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash that he would hold direct negotiations with the EU.|

''The regime in the north is not recognized by any state except Turkey and therefore we cannot begin direct negotiations with them,'' the EU Ambassador said yesterday.

Denktash had said that if Cyprus joins the EU, he would seek to have direct negotiations with Brussels. Cyprus will sign the Accession Treaty in mid April.

Van der Meer, speaking only days after the collapse of the latest UN-led effort to reunite the island, also said that the UN peace proposal, that was rejected by Denktash, remains on the table.

He expressed hope that peace talks would resume soon.

Yesterday the Turkish Cypriot regime did not allow the EU Ambassador to attend a gathering organised by the association of Turkish Cypriot doctors.

Van der Meer was invited to attend the gathering by the association, which in turn informed the regime about its guest. On Wednesday it was told that van der Meer would not be allowed to cross into the northern Turkish occupied part of Cyprus for the function.

The regime has often prevented people from entering the occupied areas without giving any reason for its actions.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.

CNA MM/MK/2003

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