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Iacovou says reference on Cyprus at Thessaloniki will be satisfactory
2003-06-17 13:07:54

Larnaca, Jun 17 (CNA) – Foreign Minister Georgios Iacovou said he anticipates a paragraph on Cyprus in the conclusions of the Thessaloniki European Council to be satisfactory.

Iacovou also said, "the international community agrees that there has been a violation of the status quo ante at Strovilia (village) and everyone condemns it", including the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. He also said the international community believes that the UN peace talks will resume in September.|

The Foreign Minister was speaking during his return from Luxembourg where he took part in the General Affairs and External Relations Council meeting there. Before Luxembourg, Iacovou paid a weeklong visit to the US where he met, among others, Vice President Dick Cheney, US Secretary of State Colin Powell and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Referring to the European Council of Thessaloniki, which begins on Thursday, Iacovou said a paragraph on Cyprus is included in the conclusions, which he anticipates would be satisfactory.

Asked if Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's reply is expected for the negotiations to resume, Iacovou said there should be two sides in order to negotiate adding however 'that the impression is that Turkey, as an EU candidate country, cannot remain impassive in view of the repercussions such policy will have on its own EU prospects'.

Asked what should be anticipated from the European Council in Thessaloniki, Iacovou expressed the conviction that 'the paper approved by the ministers on Cyprus' for this council 'will be satisfactory'.

On his US trip, Iacovou said he was very satisfied since all the goals he has set, including informing officials on the positions of the government on the Cyprus problem and to show that the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot side are responsible for the collapse of the talks in The Hague, have been fulfilled.

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

UN Security Council resolution 1486, approved last week, expressed concern at the recent, further violations by the Turkish Cypriot side and the Turkish forces at the southeastern village Strovilia and urged them to restore the military status quo which existed there prior to 30 June 2000.


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