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Cyprus hopes Turkish Cypriots to contribute to settlement
2005-04-18 14:08:00

Nicosia, Apr 18 (CNA) - The Cyprus government has expressed hope that the new Turkish Cypriot leadership under Mehmet Ali Talat would ''respond to the invitation it has before it to contribute accordingly to achieving a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem the soonest possible.''

Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides reiterated the government's commitment to a just, functional and viable bizonal, bicommunal federal settlement of the Cyprus problem, on the basis of international law and the fundamental principles of the EU.

Commenting on an invitation by Talat to President Tassos Papadopoulos for a meeting and the fact that the Turkish Cypriot politician has requested the resumption of UN efforts for a settlement, Chrysostomides said the government's position was clear on this and that efforts should start within the Un framework, with the active participation of the EU.

''It would be very harmful to begin an initiative without the necessary preparation, which could lead to another deadlock or failure,'' Chrysostomides said.

He added that the government was evaluating the outcome of the so-called presidential elections in the Turkish occupied areas, won by Talat, especially the impact it would have on the further course of the Cyprus problem.

''It is positive that Rauf Denktash's presence in the leadership of the Turkish Cypriot community is terminated,'' he said and described the outcome as ''a positive development.''

Commenting on remarks by US State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli about "free and democratic elections" in the occupied areas, Chrysostomides pointed out that everything was relative, noting that the so-called elections were in fact ''an act of secession that could lead to consolidating the division.''

Chrysostomides pointed out that Turkey still had complete power on the areas of Cyprus it occupies since 1974, adding that the question posed was how free the expression of the Turkish Cypriots' political will could possibly be.

He noted however that Turkey aspires to become an EU member and has expressed its will to contribute as much as possible to achieving a settlement and thus ''we look forward to a proper preparation of new negotiations that will lead to a solution and the reunification of our country.''

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