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Turkey must be constructive on Cyprus, says Spokesman
2003-05-16 15:02:39

Nicosia, May 16 (CNA) -- A constructive approach on Cyprus on the part of Turkey would help Ankara's European aspirations and contribute to a political settlement, Cyprus Government Spokesman Kypros Chrisostomides has said.

He said Turkey has a long way to go to prove that it respects human rights and meets European Union criteria.|

''It is obvious that Turkey still has a long way to go before it proves to the international community that it fulfills the criteria which the EU has clearly set out in order to accept that country as one of its member states,'' the spokesman told CNA, when invited to comment on a resolution passed Thursday by the European Parliament.

The resolution called on Ankara to take concrete steps to prove its commitment for respect of human rights and expressed shock at a raid on the office of the Human Rights Association in Ankara.

The Cypriot official called on Turkey to ''contribute decisively to a solution in Cyprus, by adopting a constructive stance'', something which as he pointed out the EU has been asking, along with reforms in Turkey itself with a view to improving respect for human rights.

''If Turkey displays genuine political will to solve a problem of gross human rights violations, such as the question of Cyprus, it will contribute positively to a decision by the EU in December 2004 on the start of accession negotiations and in general to a more positive approach towards Turkey's European course,'' Chrisostomides said.

The spokesman noted that the resolution expressed ''disapproval for the raid by the Turkish authorities to the offices of the Association and for the situation of human rights in the country in general.''

CNA MM/GP/2003

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