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Foreign Minister says Denktash trying to eliminate UN role
2003-04-04 10:04:46

Nicosia, Apr 4 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister George Iacovou said here today that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, in offering to talk about confidence building measures, is basically trying to do away with the UN, under whose auspices peace negotiations take place.

The Minister said he was not surprised that Denktash had sent a letter to President Tassos Papadopoulos and explained that Denktash's proposal ''is an invitation to start negotiations about confidence building measures.''

''Denktash throws the good offices mission of the Secretary General overboard in his proposal and it is clear he is ostracising this mission, he offers no discussion for a political settlement, he tries to sidetrack the question of finding a solution to the problem,'' the Minister pointed out.|

He said this was not acceptable, as the Greek Cypriot side wants to work for a negotiated settlement.

Denktash presented his offer at a press conference on Wednesday and, following a swift reply from President Tassos Papadopoulos, sent a second letter to the President.

Iacovou, who was speaking to journalists before Denktash had made public the contents of his second letter to Papadopoulos, said that one point in Denktash's letter proposes ''essentially recognition of the self-styled Turkish Cypriot regime in occupied Cyprus'', which no state but Turkey recognises.

''Denktash's attempt falls flatly down but we are interested to hear what he has to say to the letter the President sent him on Wednesday,'' Iacovou said.

Replying to questions about a package of measures for the Turkish Cypriots, he said the government intends to announce its policy towards the Turkish Cypriots after 16 April and wants this policy to have widespread support, and to this effect it is engaged in consultations with political parties and trade unions.

Iacovou said the government would also consult with the European Union about this package, which will have an economic cost to the government and added that as of 17 April Cyprus becomes an active observer in the EU, with no right to vote until it joins as a full member.

''We take into consideration Turkish Cypriot concerns that our package may divert attention from the main effort for a solution,'' he said.

Cyprus and another nine countries will sign the Accession Treaty to become full members of the EU on 16 April.

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

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