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Cyprus President calls on Talat to allow trade
2005-02-07 14:40:13

Larnaca, Feb 7 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Tassos Papadooulos has called on Turkish Cypriot self-styled premier Mehmet Ali Talat to allow trade to the island's northern Turkish-occupied areas, pointing out that the government has already made many concessions with regard to trade regulations.

He also said Talat is depriving the Turkish Cypriots of European Union aid worth 259 million euro by insisting that direct trade between the occupied north and the EU begins before the aid is allocated.

''If Mr Talat wants to show his positive intentions, then the first thing he has to do is to allow products from the southern government-controlled part of Cyprus to the occupied north,'' Papadopoulos said.

His comments come after the government and the EU have concluded an agreement to extend an existing EU regulation on trade, which would facilitate even more trade between the two sides.

Papadopoulos said the government had made ''many concessions in order to reach this agreement on the Green Line regulation.''

Talat, in an interview with local Politis newspaper, claimed that Papadopoulos is negative in attempts to make headway towards a settlement and in the implementation of EU regulations.

''Turkey's obligations to the EU do not depend on individuals. Talat must base his positions for a settlement on principles and on UN resolutions and the High Level agreements on 1977 and 1979'' which provide for a bizonal bicommunal federation, President Papadopoulos said.

Trade, President Papadopoulos pointed out, is not ''a one way deal, it takes reciprocity and the response of the Turkish Cypriot side.''

Papadopoulos also said he is ready for talks under the UN auspices.

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