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Kasoulides says only big political moves can save talks
2002-04-21 19:03:57

Larnaca, Apr 21 (CNA) - Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said today that the Cyprus government and the UN attach great importance to the efforts to break the deadlock in the direct talks on the Cyprus question, rather than seeing any "small moves", no matter how positive they may be presented, which will not contribute towards reaching a solution of the problem.

Kasoulides was speaking to the press prior to his departure for Valencia, to attend the 5th Euro-Mediterranean Conference of foreign ministers, a European Union forum to which Cyprus attaches particular importance.

He said that until now there has been no sign of any positive development at the negotiating table, adding that "big" rather than "small" political moves would "save" the Cyprus talks. The Minister did not rule out the possibility that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash may make a move.|

Kasoulides said that during the direct talks with President Glafcos Clerides, Denktash has not used the word "confederation".

The Cypriot Minister dismissed allegations that the government had given any kind of assurance that there would be a change in Denktash's stance during the third round of talks.

"Cyprus went to the negotiating table so that the opportunity offered to solve the Cyprus problem would not stay unexplored", Kasoulides concluded.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. President Clerides and Denktash began face-to-face talks mid- January with a view to negotiate until a settlement is reached.

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