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Spokesman: Turkey's EU course depends on EU and Cyprus problem
2003-08-01 15:11:08

Nicosia, Jul 31 (CNA) "Turkey's European course fully depends on the EU and its legis lative instruments and the Cyprus problem is an obstacle to promoting Turkey's course to the EU, said here Thursday Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides.

The Spokesman was commenting on statements made by Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Turkey's accession to the EU would help towards a rapid solution to the Cyprus problem.

Invited to comment on Erdogan's remark that the Cyprus government does not want a solution to the Cyprus problem when the government prohibits Greek Cypriots to take goods to the free areas from the occupied north, the Spokesman said, "this is an unfounded position and surely does not respond to the reality".|

The Spokesman said Erdogan and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's efforts to appear that they are making gestures towards confidence building measures is obvious, adding that in the case of demining Denktash tried after two to three years to take advantage of the fact and claim that the suggestion was his, despite the fact that the Greek Cypriot side had made the suggestion when the international convention to ban all anti-personnel landmines was signed.

Chrysostomides said the government submitted the proposal again within the framework of its policy to help Turkish Cypriots and called for demining throughout the buffer zone.

Invited to comment on Erdogan's statement that Turkey's accession to the EU would rapidly help towards a solution of the Cyprus problem, Chrysostomides said "if he is talking about a solution to the Cyprus problem soon, this does not agree with the time necessary for Turkey's accession, which is not estimated to be anytime soon".

"Therefore, there is a logical contradiction to Erdogan's view", he added.

The Cyprus government, he said, "believes that Turkey's accession to the EU and its future course depends fully on the EU and its legislative institutions and the Cyprus problem remains an obstacle in promoting Turkey's course to the EU", he said.

"Turkey must take measures to promote a solution to the Cyprus problem so that its EU course becomes easier", the Spokesman concluded.

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

CNA/MK/EC/ΚΝ/2003

ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
31/07/2003

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