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Iacovou discusses Cyprus problem with Cheney and Rice
2003-06-12 11:19:08

by Demetris Apokis-- Washington, Jun 12 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister Georgios Iacovou met here yesterday with US Vice President Dick Cheney and US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice with whom he discussed the situation as regards the Cyprus problem.

Iacovou told CNA that his interlocutors acknowledge that the US has to work with a view to convince Turkey to contribute to the settlement of the Cyprus problem.|

Iacovou said that during the meeting with Cheney he expressed the Cyprus government's views and said that the US needs to act in order to exert pressure on Turkey to show a more conciliatory stance on Cyprus.

''Cheney accepted all of our arguments,'' Iacovou said and added that ''the American Vice President asked a lot of questions and said he will talk to President Bush personally'' noting this was important.

As regards his meeting with Rice, Iacovou said it was ''very interesting'' adding that he outlined all the parameters of the Cyprus problem and explained that the negative stance displayed by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and Turkey led the UN peace effort to a deadlock.

Iacovou said he pointed out that the US will help Turkey if it really convinces Ankara to change its policy on the Cyprus problem, because only then will Turkey make progress as regards its EU course.

''A solution to the Cyprus problem will benefit everybody, including Turkey, I would say it will benefit primarily Ankara. US officials acknowledged that Washington must work in the direction of Turkey,'' he added.

Iacovou discussed with Rice the Middle East problem. ''She wanted our views on the Middle East issue as well, since we are the most eastern country of Europe and close to the Middle East. She thanked me for our generous and prudent approach to the issue. She also thanked us for our humanitarian position on the Iraqi issue''.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied37% of its territory.



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