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Chrisostomides says no sign of change in Turkish policy
2003-05-30 11:46:53

by Emilia Christofi-- St Petersburg, May 30 (CNA) -- The policy of Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah Gul does not show any possibility for a change in the Turkish stance on Cyprus at the moment, Cypriot Government Spokesman Kypros Chrisostomides has said.

Invited to comment on what Gul said on the Cyprus problem speaking before the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Summit in Tehran, Chrisostomides said that the Cyprus government has taken all measures and is in contact with all members of the Islamic Conference to prevent any surprises.|

Gul had said that ''one of the main obstacles towards the lasting settlement in Cyprus has been the lack of confidence between the two peoples'', noting that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, ''with a view to addressing this shortcoming, has on April 2 made a new and constructive opening, designed to contribute to the normalisation of relations.''

He also said that the Turkish Cypriot side ''began implementing its package of confidence building measures unilaterally and facilitated both the trade and the movement of persons between the two sides of the island,'' and expressed hope ''these steps will serve as a new impetus towards a comprehensive settlement.''

Gul added that the Turkish government encouraged this process and contributed to it by facilitating the travel of Greek Cypriots to Turkey and noted that ''we expect others to follow this initiative and move to lift inhuman embargoes that the Turkish Cypriot people are subjected to.''

He also reiterated the Turkish request that the observer status of the Turkish occupation regime in the OIC be upgraded to that of a full member.

Chrisostomides said that Gul's references ''verify once again the tactic and policy of the Turkish Government'', that is ''the full support to Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, the effort to upgrade the occupation regime into a full 'member-state' of the Islamic Conference with some misleading arguments.''

He added that ''Gul's policy does not show any possibility for a change in the Turkish stance as regards the Cyprus problem for the moment'' and that the Turkish government ''fully supports Denktash.''

Invited to say what measures the Cyprus government is taking to prevent the possible recognition of the pseudostate by the Islamic Conference, the Spokesman said ''all necessary contacts have been made.''

He said the government through the Foreign Ministry and its diplomatic missions is in contact with all Islamic Conference countries, making them aware of the real facts, the UN resolutions, the illegal occupation which is going on, acting preventively in order to avoid any surprises in the Islamic Conference.''

The Spokesman also noted that diplomatic missions have been sent to many Islamic countries while in the recent Euro Mediterranean Conference in Crete Foreign Minister Georgios Iacovou had the chance to hold meetings with the Foreign Ministers of eight Arabic Mediterranean countries.

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

The Turkish side is seeking recognition of the regime set up unilaterally in the occupied areas in 1983, which nobody but Turkey recognises.



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