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US Congressman Frank Palone calls on Turkey to abandon threats on Cyprus 2002-05-20 08:19:16

Nicosia, May 20 (CNA) -- US Congressman Frank Pallone has called on Ankara to put aside its unreasonable demands at the peace talks and negotiate in good faith with a view to achieving a solution in Cyprus.

He also said Turkey should back Cyprus' accession to the European Union and undertake new initiatives on Cyprus.

"The most effective way for Turkey to expedite its membership into the EU is for the nation to finally support Cyprus' own accession and to drop its threats of annexing the Turkish occupied northern third of the island, if Cyprus' accession occurs," Pallone said in a statement he submitted to Congress.|

He said Turkey could also help with the EU by listening to its own deputy prime minister who said Turkish Cypriot proposals at the talks are "inadequate" and undertaking new initiatives on Cyprus.

"I hope that the Turkish Cypriot leadership will listen to the statements of the Turkish deputy prime minister and finally respond by putting aside its unreasonable and unacceptable demands and negotiate in good faith," he said.

Pallone expressed his full backing to last week's visit to Cyprus by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in a bid to intensify the pace of the talks and encourage the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides to come to some arrangement by the target date of June, leaving legal details for later on to lead to a comprehensive settlement.

UN-led peace talks have been going on since mid January this year, in the presence of Annan's special adviser Alvaro de Soto. Initial optimism has been replaced by disappointment as time moves on and no concrete results in sight.

De Soto continues his twice-a-week meetings with President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

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