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Greek Minister says situation result of EU accession impetus
2003-05-03 19:10:51

Nicosia, May 2 (CNA) - Greek Minister of Culture Evangelos Venizelos said today that the situation over the past few days with the easing of restrictions on the free movement of people in Cyprus was ''the result of the impetus developed by Cyprus' accession to the EU''.

He added that ''this huge diplomatic and political event exerts great pressure on Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and Ankara''.|

Venizelos, who visited the Ledra Palace checkpoint in Nicosia, said ''the Nicosia wall has opened but has not fallen'', adding that the Cyprus question ''is an open international problem that must be solved in the framework of international law, the UN Secretary General's initiatives and the new situation emerging from Cyprus' accession to the EU''.

He said that the phenomenon since last week, when the Turkish occupation regime decided to ease restrictions on the free movement of people to and from the occupied areas of the Republic, proves that ''there is and there never was any real problem of security for Turkish Cypriots''.

''Unfortunately, this was the fundamental Turkish argument to justify the invasion and the continued occupation'', he said, adding that ''we now have the collapse of the basic Turkish argument''.

Venizelos said that the Cyprus problem would ''not be solved with such gestures without accepting the framework of the settlement drafted by the UN'', adding that it is certain that international pressure and the impetus of Cyprus' accession to the EU would lead Denktash and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to make ''more gestures, in relation to the occupation troops and their number or regarding the fenced-off area of Famagusta''.

He said these gestures were ''not a substitute for a solution'' and noted that ''it is important to see the citizens of the Republic of Cyprus communicating freely amongst themselves''.

''It is also important to see the Turkish Cypriots exercising their rights and making use of their opportunities as European citizens. This is the impetus created'', he said.


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