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Cyprus and Greece dismiss Turkish press reports on ''embargo''
2003-05-16 14:55:56

Nicosia, May 16 (CNA) - Greece and Cyprus have dismissed reports by Turkish news agency ''Anadolu'' that the Foreign Ministers of Greece and Turkey discussed in Brussels on Thursday various ways to lift the so-called ''embargo'' against Turkish Cypriots by Greece and the Turkish embargo on Greek Cypriots.

Cyprus Foreign Minister George Iacovou, dismissing the reports, said he was not aware of such an issue. ''I will dismiss this issue'', he said, noting he has repeatedly talked with Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, in view of their meeting on 26 May, ''therefore I doubt such thing has ever occurred''.

Greek Foreign Ministry Spokesman Panagiotis Beglitis, referring to today's Turkish press reports over the Papandreou-Gul meeting in Brussels, said that ''the Turkish media continue their beloved practice of making up sources, distorting information and misinforming, in an effort to try to bring the reality close to their measure''.|

''We categorically dismiss the report that the Foreign Ministers of the two countries agreed to cooperate to lift the 'embargo' on the occupied part of Cyprus'', Beglitis said.

He also said the EU's position on the issue was ''perfectly clear'', as it was recently expressed by Enlargement Commissioner Gunter Verheugen.

''Turkey and the Denktash occupation regime are obliged to respect it, just like they are obliged to contribute to a solution to the political problem of Cyprus, within the UN framework and based on UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's plan'', Beglitis added.

Greece's Ambassador in Nicosia Christos Panagopoulos, rejecting the reports, said the story was made up, adding that ''the legal and political position is that there is no 'embargo', therefore no such issue was raised''.

He said there is complete accord between Athens and Nicosia and that ''the Greek Cypriot side is ready to resume the peace initiative which was interrupted in The Hague because of Mr. Denktash''.

Panagopoulos said that all these issues will be examined during Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos' visit to Athens on May 26.

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


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