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Gul says Ankara will back solution agreed by both sides in Cyprus
2005-02-10 15:04:50

by Maria Myles

Ankara, 10 February (CNA) –Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said here today that the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides will have to agree on a political settlement, if one is to be found, adding that Ankara will back such a settlement.

Speaking to Greek Cypriot journalists after a meeting with a delegation from the Greek Cypriot Democratic Rally party, he refrained from identifying the role or steps Turkey should take towards a solution in Cyprus, but said Ankara encourages efforts for a settlement.

“We want to see the Cyprus problem solved, there are two sides on the island, the problem is their problem, they have to agree on a certain plan, if the sides say this is good for us, then it is good for Turkey” he said, adding that Turkey encourages all peace initiatives.

He said the Cyprus question is a problem of this region and Turkey as a motherland is involved in this problem.

Asked by CNA if now he understands the position of the Greek Cypriots as the DISI leader had explained them to him, Gul said it was not up to him to say yes or no, but up to the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides.

“They will decide for this, I hope they reach a solution and we will support it,” he noted.

On the withdrawal of Turkish troops and settlers from Cyprus, which Turkey has to decide, Gul had this to say, “both sides agree on a certain plan, we will support them.”

On Ankara’s role in efforts to find a settlement, he replied, “we encourage.”

Pressed by journalists to specify steps Ankara could take, he said “if you have a referendum once more, and you say yes, it is good for instance.”

Describing the visit “good”, Gul noted this is the first time a Greek Cypriot politician has visited Turkey and said that DISI and Justice and Development parties belong to the European People’s Party.

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