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Government shares view of Secretary General on direct talks
2002-06-13 22:09:41

Nicosia, Jun 13 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government has described as "correct" the position UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has taken that the main stumbling block in the peace effort is the Turkish Cypriot demand for recognition of the self-styled regime in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus.

This view, Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said, is out of the question as far as the Greek Cypriot side is concerned.

The government has said, through its spokesman, that the status of the Turkish Cypriots will be determined through the ongoing negotiations and this means that the Turkish Cypriots will participate on an equal footing in the creation of a composite state, a federal state of Cyprus. |

His comments come after Kofi Annan said Wednesday in New York that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash wanted the recognition status clarified "as soon as possible".

"The Secretary General's position is correct and for us, and I believe for the international community, this point is out of the question," Papapetrou told the press when invited to comment on Annan's remarks.

Denktash insists on the recognition of his regime in occupied Cyprus at the direct talks, which began in mid January here. The UN has branded it "legally invalid" and called on all states not to recognise it.

Addressing himself to the Turkish Cypriots, the spokesman assured them that there is no reason for them to insist on divisive options since it is crystal clear that the two communities can coexist in the framework of a member state of the European Union, with their legitimate rights protected and they can build together their future with full respect for each other.

Asked to comment on Annan's statement that the "question of recognition of the 'Turkish Cypriot state' is part of the discussions", Papapetrou said he believed the Secretary General was referring to Denktash's complaints that the Turkish Cypriots have no status and no recognition by the world community.

"The essence of Annan's remarks is that the Turkish Cypriots can gain a status only through a solution and this solution and the outcome of the talks will determine this status," the spokesman added.

Outlining the government's position on the status of the Turkish Cypriots, he said "this status will be the status of a community which will participate equally in the creation of a composite state, a federal state."

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

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