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Turkish Cypriots determined to fight for solution and EU accession
2003-03-27 18:33:14

Nicosia, Mar 27 (CNA) - Communal Liberation Party leader Hussein Angolemli stressed here Thursday the Turkish Cypriot's determination for a solution to the Cyprus problem and accession to the European Union.

He was speaking after meeting Democratic Party's (DIKO) Deputy President Nicos Cleanthous who assured that the Greek Cypriot side will support in practical ways the efforts of the Turkish Cypriots.|

The meeting was held at the Communal Liberation Party's request to congratulate DIKO on the election of its party leader, Tassos Papadopoulos, to the presidency of the Republic last month.

Cleanthous said that during their talks ''we ascertained they (Turkish Cypriots) maintain an unwavering will to work for a Cyprus settlement'' based on UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's third plan for a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem because ''they consider it still offers the opportunity to achieve this goal''.

Both parties, he said, acknowledge it will be difficult to secure a settlement before April 16, when Cyprus will sign the EU Accession Treaty, but Cleanthous noted ''we explained and assured that the European Commission has provided that until the accession date of May 2004, efforts to reach a solution based on the Annan plan are still open and will encourage this so that the solution will be incorporated into the Accession Treaty without any significant problem''.

What remains, he said, is Ankara's stance, which in turn determines Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's attitude.

Speaking through an interpreter, Angolemli said Turkish Cypriots will continue the fight ''for a solution and accession to the EU because that is the desire of the Turkish Cypriots''.

''We expect the same response from Greek Cypriots'', Angolemli said, noting that the Annan plan is a sufficiently good basis to reunite the island.

To a remark that Denktash does not share his view and invited to comment on the intervention of the so-called ''police'' on Monday during a mock referendum of the Annan plan in the occupied village of Elia, Angolemli said although it was an internal issue ''our efforts concentrate on finding a solution based on the Annan plan''.

Angolemli said a symbolic referendum would be held on Friday in Turkish occupied Kyrenia. ''It is a symbolic act because the March referenda will not take place. We are sending a message to the world that we want a solution and accession to the EU'', he concluded.

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

The Hague talks collapsed when Denktash refused to put to a referendum on March 30 Annan's peace proposal for a comprehensive settlement.

Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos agreed to conduct a referendum, provided Annan's peace proposal was completed in terms of legislative work and the people were sufficiently informed about the plan.


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