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Iacovou meets Hastert and Senate members
2003-06-13 19:28:05

By Demetris Apokis--

Washington, Jun 13 (CNA) – Foreign Minister George Iacovou has informed members of the US House of Representatives that Cypriot companies are in a position to contribute to efforts for the reconstruction of Iraq.

The minister also said that Cyprus already offers important humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people.

Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert said the Turkish Cypriot side has lost an important opportunity to settle the question of Cyprus when it rejected the UN Secretary-General’s peace plan for a comprehensive solution.|

Welcoming Iacovou to the House, Hastert said recent developments in Cyprus, such as the easing of restrictions on the freedom of movement to and from the Turkish occupied areas of the island, are very important and noted that these moves can help towards a final resolution of the problem.

Iacovou also met senators Joseph Biden and Paul Sarbanes, both members of the Foreign Relations Committee, and congress members Michael Bilirakis and Carolyn Maloney who are co-chairing the Hellenic Caucus.

The Minister explained the government’s position regarding the resumption of negotiations based on the Annan Plan, and said that the collapse of the peace talks is solely due to Ankara and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash’s intransigent position towards the Secretary-General’s mission of good offices.

He stressed the need for Washington to intensify efforts towards Ankara to change its policy and resume substantial negotiations.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island’s territory.



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