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British Deputy Prime Minister to come to Cyprus
2005-10-20 15:25:56

Nicosia, Oct 20 -- British Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State John Prescott will visit Cyprus from October 24-26, ahead of the informal European Council on the future of Europe to take place in Britain on October 27.

During his stay in Nicosia, Mr. Prescott will be received by Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and will meet with other government officials. He will also participate in a TV interview with Cyprus Foreign Minister George Iacovou on ''the future of Europe.''

"The governments of Cyprus and the UK look forward to a constructive visit, aiming at enhancing bilateral relations as EU partners," said Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides.

He also said that President Tassos Papadopoulos will fly to London on October 26 to attend the informal European Council meetings.

Invited to comment on Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's intention to also attend the EU informal meeting in London, where he reportedly will announce his readiness for talks on Cyprus within the UN framework, Mr. Chrysostomides said:

''Turkey's policy is well known, its been stated many times with statements by Mr. Erdogan himself and his effort is to show a good diplomatic face to the EU for obvious reasons, to be rid of pressure concerning the implementation of the protocol or the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus.''

However, he added, ''these are the things which we have to point out to EU member states, that they should not consider what he (Mr. Erdogan) says as his policy.''

As for Mr. Erdogan's pledge that Ankara is willing to abandon all restrictions for a Cyprus settlement, the Spokesman replied that what Mr. Erdogan has to abandon is the illegal occupation of the northern part of Cyprus.

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