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Spokesman says no change of Turkish policy on Cyprus at present
2003-03-24 14:09:55

Nicosia, Mar 24 (CNA) ? Government Spokesman Kypros Chrisostomides said here Monday that at present Ankara's policy has not changed from that of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

He said that Turkey seems to have expressed a different approach but this does not mean a fundamental change in the Turkish policy.

Chrisostomides said what comes out of the recent meeting of Greek Foreign Minister, George Papandreou and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is "that the report on Cyprus to the UN Security Council is being prepared and that the UN Secretary-General is at the disposal of the parties to continue efforts to solve the Cyprus problem".|

He also said Cyprus "considers the Greek government's stance constructive."

Commenting on Papandreou's meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul, the spokesman said "again, there is a different approach on Gul's part who notes that they still want, and are making efforts, to solve the Cyprus problem."

The Spokesman said efforts are underway to "set up a meeting between the foreign ministries of Greece and Turkey to discuss various issues, including possibilities to continue efforts for a Cyprus settlement."

"So far we have not ascertained a change in Ankara's policy from that of Denktash. Therefore I believe that Mr. Gul's statements do not mean a change of policy, that is support to Denktash's positions."

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

Efforts to secure a comprehensive settlement based on the Secretary- General's plan collapsed earlier this month in The Hague, after Denktash failed to agree to holding a referendum on Kofi Annan's peace proposal.


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