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Cyprus FM surprised by T/C stance on new economic measures
2007-04-05 09:42:44

Nicosia, Apr 3 - Cyprus Foreign Minister Yiorgos Lillikas has expressed surprise over the initial Turkish Cypriot side's response to the new measures submitted to the EU by the Cyprus Government aiming to economically strengthen the Turkish Cypriot community.

The new set of measures was submitted last week after Mr. Lillikas' meeting in Bremen with German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier, whose country holds the EU rotating Presidency. Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat's spokesman Hacan Ercakica said these measures ''smell enmity.''

''What surprises me and I cannot understand it, is how can proposals, which aim at developing mutual economic interests, be considered as smelling enmity,'' Mr. Lillikas said.

He also said that it would be best for the Turkish Cypriot side to look into the submitted proposals, carefully study them, and then express its position on them.

The Cyprus Government is now waiting for the reaction of the EU Presidency and the Commission over the new measures.

Moreover, the Government of Cyprus has yet to receive a document on the position of the Turkish Cypriot side regarding the July 8 agreement.

''When we receive it we will study it and we will make our comments,'' Mr. Lillikas noted.

On July 8th 2006, Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat met in the presence of former UN Undersecretary General Imbrahim Gambari and agreed to begin a process of bicommunal discussions on issues that affect the day-to-day life of the people and those that concern substantive issues.

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