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Government Spokesman: no reason for Papadopoulos-Talat meeting
2005-01-31 14:06:51

Nicosia, Jan 31 (CNA) -- There is no reason, at this stage, for Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and self-styled premier in the island's Turkish-occupied areas Mehmet Ali Talat, Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said here today.

The spokesman also said that Talat prevents economic cooperation between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities, in a bid to obtain political gains.

''We are ready to begin further procedure, within the UN framework, to find a political settlement provided that the foundations for a successful outcome of such negotiations are laid down,'' Chrysostomides said.

He said at present there is no reason for Papadopoulos to meet Talat, especially because the latter, in an effort to obtain political advantages, he has a negative approach towards the implementation of measures that would help cooperation and understanding between the two sides.

''The Turkish Cypriots should know that we have done everything possible to facilitate cooperation and commercial exchanges on the basis of the European Union Green Line regulation on the movement of goods across the Green Line and the export of Turkish Cypriot produce through the legal ports of entry,'' the spokesman added.

Talat, he said, does not seem to allow this to develop to the extent that it could.

Chrysostomides recalled that an EU financial aid programme for the Turkish Cypriots, worth 259 million euros, is being delayed because of obstacles Talat raises in a bid to link this aid to another EU regulation on direct trade between the EU and the occupied part of Cyprus.

''The regulations are there, the government and the EU have proposed ways to implement them, if there is a desire to help the Turkish Cypriots, Talat must rise to the challenge,'' he added.

He noted that Turkish Cypriot exports are rather limited (50 million dollars) half of which are citrus fruit and these could easily be exported through legal ports of entry.

''We are studying and discussing with the EU further measures to suggest to facilitate the implementation of the Green Line,'' the spokesman added.

Responding to questions, the spokesman said the Turkish side expects to see the outcome of the forthcoming ''parliamentary and presidential elections'' in occupied Cyprus.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

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