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Cypriot government expects Britain to respect its sensitivities
2006-01-09 12:02:54

Nicosia, Jan 9 (CNA) - Cyprus Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said today that the government of the Republic of Cyprus expected British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to respect its sensitivities regarding contacts in the Turkish occupied areas, noting that whatever was agreed on for the recent visit to Cyprus of Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott should be observed.

Chrysostomides said the Foreign Office and the Cypriot Ministry of Foreign Affairs were in contact to determine the details of Straw's forthcoming visit and his contacts on the island.

Regarding the meeting Straw wishes to have with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, the Spokesman said ''our position is well known and we expect Mr. Straw to respect the sensitivities of the Cypriot government,'' adding that it would be all right if they were to meet in a hotel in the occupied areas.

Asked if the government would object to Straw meeting with Talat at the so-called presidential palace in the occupied areas, the Spokesman said ''we have no objection to official visitors of Cyprus to meet with representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community, as long as this is not done in a way that indicates either an upgrading of the occupation regime or the promotion of the symbols of the secessionist regime, which contravenes UN Security Council resolutions.''

To a remark that Prescott accepted the sensitivities of the government and did not meet Talat under circumstances that would indicate an upgrading of the occupation regime, while this does not seem to be the case with Straw, Chrysostomides said ''this creates a question mark'' and noted that the procedures agreed on during Prescott's visit should be observed during Straw's visit too.

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