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Spokesman: Cyprus issue not topic for discussion at social encounters
2005-04-19 13:54:43

Pafos, Apr 19 (CNA) -- Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides has said that any meeting between the President of the Republic and Turkish Cypriot party leader Mehmet Ali Talat must be within the UN framework, provided that the ground is prepared for such an encounter.

The spokesman pointed out that the question of Cyprus is far too serious an issue to be discussed at social meetings, adding that the problem must remain within the UN framework and the good offices mission of the UN Secretary General with a more active role on the part of the European Union to help find a negotiated settlement.

His comments come two days after Talat was declared the winner of a poll in Turkish occupied Cyprus. He will now take over from veteran leader Rauf Denktash as the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community.

''I would not rule out the possibility of a social meeting between Papadopoulos and Talat but the Cyprus problem is far too serious to be discussed at such meetings, be they for coffee or otherwise. The question of Cyprus is an issue that should be resolved under the UN auspices,'' the spokesman said, replying to press questions.

He said that any meeting should be well prepared to ensure a successful development and added ''the whole effort is to resume the talks as soon as possible with a view at reaching a solution and with the necessary preparation prior to the talks.''

On Sunday's poll in occupied Cyprus, he said the political reality of the situation in the occupied areas must be taken into consideration when talking about ''free and democratic elections'', in that Turkey exercises effective control in that part of the country, by virtue of the massive presence of its troops, and is responsible for what takes place there.

Talat represented the Turkish Cypriot community at last year's talks, under UN auspices, which ended inconclusively. He has since been in the foreground, sidelining Rauf Denktash and has on various occasions launched scathing attacks against Papadopoulos.

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