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Turkish Premier sees new initiative after ''elections'' in occupied Cyprus
2005-02-14 14:40:32

by Maria Myles

Constantinople, Feb 12 (CNA) -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan believes that there will be a new initiative on Cyprus after the so-called presidential elections in Turkish occupied Cyprus in April, and said he wants to see the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides increase their contacts in order to create common ground ahead of any new initiative.

According to reliable sources close to a meeting here today between Erdogan and a four-member delegation from the Democratic Rally party (DISI) from Cyprus, the premier said the non solution in Cyprus is not a solution and pointed out that politicians are there to solve problems, views which he has already outlined to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan whom he has asked to undertake a new initiative on Cyprus, as Erdogan said.

Erdogan, the same sources have said, explained to the DISI delegation that he hopes that after the “elections” the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities will express a common willingness for a process that will prove to be effective towards a political settlement.

He said he would contribute towards this goal and is convinced that his Greek counterpart will follow suit.

The Turkish premier believes that concerns and anxieties raised at the meeting by the DISI delegation could be discussed at the negotiating table, saying he is ready to talk about such matters.

He advocated increased contact between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides with a view at reaching an understanding, adding that such a process could create common ground before any actual negotiations begin afresh.

Erdogan thinks that there could occur a meeting between the Cyprus President and Turkish Cypriot so-called premier Mehmet Ali Talat, under any form, be it informal, friendly or even secret.

He said he would encourage Talat to work towards this direction and hoped that Tassos Papadopoulos would also be encouraged to do the same, while he expressed hope for a positive approach on the part of the Cypriot President.

Erdogan said he would sign a protocol to Turkey’s customs union agreement with the European Union, extending it to all ten new EU members, by 3 October, provided that his signature means nothing more than the extension of a commercial deal.

DISI delegation will meet tomorrow with Patriarch Bartholomew before returning to Cyprus.

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