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Spokesman says peace talks to remain within UN framework
2003-03-31 14:13:48

Nicosia, Mar 31 (CNA) - Government Spokesman Kypros Chrisostomides said today the government would insist on not letting the process to solve the Cyprus problem deviate from the UN chief's good offices mission.

He was commenting on a suggestion by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for a conference on Cyprus to be attended by the three guarantor powers of Cyprus' independence (Turkey, Britain, Greece), the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides.

The proposal was made in a bid to put on an equal par the self-styled Turkish Cypriot regime in occupied Cyprus, which only Ankara recognises, with the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus.|

Referring to statements from the Turkish side to enter a different procedure outside the UN framework in order to solve the Cyprus problem, Chrisostomides said this was the policy of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, who was ''trying to downgrade the presence of the Republic of Cyprus and upgrade his own regime''.

Chrisostomides said ''there is no possibility for something like that to work because the Republic of Cyprus is there, is entering the EU and is signing the Accession Treaty on April 16, and after that date efforts to solve the Cyprus problem will continue''.

Asked if third countries favoured Erdogan's proposal, Chrisostomides replied negatively, noting that ''for the time being it is clearly a Turkish proposal, which has not had any response from any state''.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

CNA/EC/RG/MM/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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