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Washington: ''Elections'' are a referendum for T/C will on settlement
2003-10-21 11:10:25

By Demitris Apokis

Nicosia, Oct 21 (CNA) -- The US State Department sees the upcoming so called elections in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus as a ''crucial opportunity'' for Turkish Cypriots to express their will on whether they desire a Cyprus settlement based on the Annan plan and EU membership.

Asked by CNA to comment on the issue, State Department Deputy Spokesman Adam Ereli said in this sense ''the elections are a referendum on the Annan plan the Turkish Cypriots were denied when UN-sponsored peace talks were abandoned by their side at The Hague.''

The spokesman expressed the hope the ''elections'' to be ''fully free and fair and that the will of the Turkish Cypriots will be reflected in the choice of negotiator for their community.''

Asked if the State Department was concerned about the indications of problems with ''election lists'' in the occupied areas, Ereli said that there are a number of press reports which ''do cause us concern''.

These reports, he noted, refer to ''possible irregularities in Turkish-Cypriot voter lists, such as the inclusion of dubiously qualified voters.''

The occupation regime run by Rauf Denktash has included thousands of Turkish colonist settlers in the "election" lists. Political parties that oppose Denktash's policy has reacted strongly to this move staging street demonstrations and rallies.

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