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Irish Ambassador dismisses Turkish Cypriot press reports
2005-04-05 11:40:33

Nicosia, Apr 5 (CNA) -- Ireland’s Ambassador to Cyprus John Swift told CNA that the statements he had made in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus were misunderstood by the Turkish Cypriot media.

Meanwhile, Cyprus Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides told his daily press briefing that he had a telephone conversation with Swift who rejected the statements that were carried out by Turkish Cypriot media.

Swift confirmed that he will meet this afternoon Foreign Ministry Permanent Secretary Sotos Zackheos on the matter.

According to Turkish Cypriot media Swift had reportedly said that Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos is "an obstacle" to a solution of the Cyprus problem. He was also quoted as saying that "the biggest problem" is that the majority of the Greek Cypriots support President Papadopoulos.

Spokesman Chrysostomides said that he contacted Swift today and that the Irish ambassador “rejected he had said anything of the sort”.

“I told them it was a matter of the embassy to dismiss the statements”, the Spokesman added.

In statements to CNA, Swift said he had not seen all press reports on his speech in Turkish-occupied Famagusta, at the so-called Eastern Mediterranean University, “but from what I understand some of the comments I made were profoundly misunderstood”.

Asked about a statement attibuted to him that “President Papadopoulos is an obstacle to the solution to the Cyprus problem”, he said “this is not correct”.

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