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Greek and Turkish Cypriot politicians want new momentum
2003-04-04 11:52:11

Nicosia, Apr 4 (CNA) -- The political parties in Cyprus should make every effort so that the peace process in Cyprus regains its momentum, United Democrats Deputy Chairman Michalis Papapetrou and General Secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Patriotic Movement Alpay Durduran said today.

Speaking after a meeting, the politicians said they also agreed that political initiatives should be taken so that the end of the war on Iraq would be immediately followed by steps to solve the Cyprus problem.|

Papapetrou assured the Turkish Cypriot politician that his party would make every effort so that the Turkish Cypriots would benefit from Cyprus' accession to the European Union. He added that the only realistic basis for a solution of the Cyprus problem at this moment is the peace plan presented by Secretary General Kofi Annan.

''The message we send to the Turkish Cypriots is not to be disappointed, not to lose their courage, to keep their faith in a solution of the problem,'' Papapetrou said.

Durduran said he was very happy to meet with the United Democrats, noting that ''as always we shared almost all values''.

Noting that ''unfortunately at this stage we lost the chance to solve the Cyprus problem,'' he expressed hope that the issue would be solved in the very near future and the international community would pave the way for a settlement.

''During the past year, the Turkish Cypriots have fought hard to pressure the Turkish side to pave the way for a solution. We shall continue our struggle even after the accession of Cyprus to the European Union,'' Durduran said.

He expressed the view of this party that Cyprus' membership will help bring about a solution to the Cyprus problem.

Referring to the Annan plan, Durduran said Turkey still ''has the chance to reactivate efforts and start new negotiations on it.''

Asked about the proposals made by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash earlier this week, he said Denktash ''considered it as a package so it should be accepted or rejected'', adding that ''it is just a political move, an instrument aiming not to help the dialogue but prevent it.''

Invited to comment on the fact that Denktash's proposals caused a delay in the announcement by the Cyprus government of a package of measures for the Turkish Cypriots, Durduran welcomed the measures and noted that ''a delay will not be constructive''.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.
CNA/KN/RG/2003

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