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Kasoulides: Solution by June Depends on Turkish Side's Honesty
2001-12-30 09:47:52

FROM THE CYPRUS MAIL-By Melina Demetriou--- FOREIGN Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said yesterday that a solution to the Cyprus problem could be reached by June if the Turkish side showed honesty at the January talks.

Kasoulides argued that Turkey's plans for international acknowledgement of the Turkish Cypriot regime had been ruined. "Cyprus made some good efforts in 2001," said Kasoulides. "The European Court's verdict against Turkey blocked its ambitions regarding the status of the breakaway regime and the Turkish lobby has failed to affect the Islamic world's opinion on the matter." He also felt that Cyprus' negotiations with the EU had acted as a catalyst for the resumption of talks. "I don't know if the EU factor will affect the January talks positively, but if it does not the dividing line will not endure considering the dynamic created by Cyprus' accession," he said.

The foreign minister's statements were made on the eve of the dinner tonight between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash at Clerides' residence in Nicosia.

This will be the first time since the 1974 invasion that Denktash will have crossed into the southern part of the island. President Clerides made the first move on December 5 when he crossed to the north to dine with Denktash at his residence.

Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit yesterday appeared optimistic that the meeting would prepare the ground for substantial negotiations which would lead to the solution of the Cyprus problem.

Around 200 members of the media from Cyprus and abroad are expected to cover the dinner tonight.

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