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Cyprus government satisfied with Athens' positions during US Secretary's visit
2006-04-27 16:10:50

Nicosia, Apr 27 - The Cyrpus government has expressed satisfaction over the Greek approach as regards the Cyprus problem during the visit of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Athens.

''We are satisfied with the Greek position and the views expressed by Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Dora Bakoyiannis,'' Government Spokesman George Lillikas said.

He also said he does not take for granted statements by Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah Gul, who thanked Rice for the US help to Turkey on the Cyprus issue, noting that ''we are used to Turkish statements which do not reflect reality.''

Asked if he expects any problems at Thursday's dinner between EU and NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs, given the fact that Mr. Gul has avoided in the past to attend gatherings at which his Cypriot counterpart was invited, Mr. Lillikas said ''it is up to Turkey to react if it so wishes and show once more its stance towards the EU.''

Invited to comment on reports that according to Miss Rice the Cyprus issue and the Aegean issue are considered to be one package, the Spokesman said that there is no such official information on the behalf of the US, noting that neither Greece nor Cyprus have ever accepted such a linking of the two issues.

Responding to another question on the census which will be conducted in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus on 30 April, Mr. Lillikas said that it has ''no political validity'' for the Greek Cypriot side.

''Such a census in the occupied areas is something we would like to discuss on a technical level, to be conducted in the presence of representatives of the EU and other organizations so as to have objective and true data,'' he said.

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