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Cyprus President: No meeting with Straw
2006-01-18 15:35:16

Limassol, Jan 18 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos stressed here tonight that he would not accept any meeting with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, after the latter’s decision to meet the Turkish Cypriot leader in his socalled presidential office in the Turkish occupied north.

Straw told his Cypriot counterpart George Iacovou over a telephone conversation this afternoon that he would visit Cyprus next week as part of a three-nation trip that would also take him to Turkey and Greece and he planned to meet Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat at his office at the socalled presidential palace in occupied Cyprus.

Invited to comment on Straw’s decision to go ahead with his January 24-25 visit to the island and meet Talat despite the government’s objection, President Papadopoulos replied “our positions are publicly known”.

Referring to the British government’s stance, President Papadopoulos said “they believe that their presence would assist in efforts to resume negotiations”.

“Let anyone judge if we wanted mediators for this job”, the President said, stressing that “those who come here and impinge our sensitivities and sovereignty” are not good mediators.

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