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Turkish Cypriot party leader wants peace and reunification
2005-01-20 14:16:06

Larnaca, Jan 20 (CNA) -- Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), has said he would like to see peace in Cyprus and the country reunited.

Talat was speaking after prayer at the mosque of Hala Sultan here on the occasion of the feast of Kurban Bayrami, one of the two most important religious feasts in the Moslem world. He was accompanied by his wife, her grandmother, an aunt, and members of his security guard.

Turkish Cypriot journalists are also covering the visit to the mosque, in the southern government controlled part of the island. Talat traveled by car, through one of the check points along the Green Line dividing the country, to the mosque.

''We want peace to our island, we want a solution to the Cyprus problem, we do not want to go with this division of the island, we want to reunify our island once again and forever,'' he said.

Responding to questions, he said a UN-proposed solution plan is consistent with the acquis communautaire, adding that European Union involvement in efforts to find a settlement would be welcome but pointed out that the UN is the leading organization to resolve the Cyprus problem.

He also said he was expected suggestions from the Greek Cypriot side with regard to the Annan plan because the Greek Cypriots had rejected the plan in a referendum last year.

''For the time being there is only a single plan, the Annan plan, and I am ready to discuss everything,'' he added, noting that his target is to get a settlement by 3 October, when Turkey is set to begin accession negotiations with the European Union.

On the murder of three Turkish Cypriots, last week, in the southern government controlled part of the island, he said criminal acts are only to be expected to take place since the opening of crossing points to and from the occupied north and people crossing.

Four Turkish Cypriots were arrested in Turkish occupied Cyprus on Wednesday in connection with the murder of a Turkish Cypriot banker, his wife and 16-year-old daughter.

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