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US envoy concerned over impact by Erdogan's visit in occupied Cyprus
2003-11-21 09:49:54

Athens, Nov 19, (CNA)--US State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston expressed concerns that Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's illegal visit to Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus could be exploited by various parties in the occupied areas to prevent the recommencement of the UN-led talks to reunify the island.

Speaking after a meeting here Wendesday with Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou in Athens, Weston noted however, ''there's reason to believe that the visit could have a positive impact in terms of moving back to talks".

In his remarks Papandreou described the coming months as ''crucial'' for the Cyprus question.

''The next months will be crucial, because Cyprus is entering the EU and Turkey would be assessed for its stance on the Cyprus question and for a series of other issues'', Papandreou noted, adding that Greece has repeatedly supported Turkey's EU bid because believes that long-standing problems could be resolved in a European framework.

Replying to a question whether he is still optimistic for the recommencement of the UN-led talks to reunify Cyprus, after Erdogan's visit to the occupied areas, Weston said ''I think there's reason to believe that the visit could have a positive impact in terms of moving back to talks''.

''My concern is whether it could be used by someone in northern Cyprus to prevent the recommencement of the talks'', Weston added, noting that he will see how Erdogan's visit is used by the various parties in Northern Cyprus.

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