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FM: Turkey's EU obligations cannot be linked with Famagusta
2006-10-03 14:12:18

Nicosia, Oct 2 - The Cypriot government has made it clear that Turkey?s European obligations cannot be linked with the so- called direct trade regulation for the Turkish Cypriots and stressed that it will not negotiate proposals, which do not provide for the return of the closed city of Varosha to its legal inhabitants.

Cypriot Foreign Minister George Lillikas made statements to this effect, in his comments on reports that the Finnish EU Presidency is working on a draft proposal, providing for the opening of the Turkish ? occupied port of Famagusta under EU administration for 24 months, in combination with the opening of Turkish ports to ships carrying the Cypriot flag and the transfer of the closed city to the UN.

Mr. Lillikas clarified that the Finnish proposal has other ramifications as well, noting that direct trade between the EU and the occupied part of the island cannot be linked with any other issue.

''We have submitted our views to the Finnish Presidency with regard to what we accept and what we don?t accept, as other governments of the member ? states did'', he said.

He reiterated the government?s position for the implementation of the EU direct trade regulation with the Turkish Cypriots along with the return of the fenced-off area of the occupied town of Varosha to its legal inhabitants and the joint administration of the city's port, stressing that this is the basis on which Nicosia negotiates.

"This has always been our position and we will not back down", Mr. Lillikas concluded.

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