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Turkey's military threats "unacceptable", says spokesman
2002-08-29 13:18:58

Nicosia, Aug 29 (CNA)-- Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou described as "unacceptable" renewed threats by the Turkish military that a serious crisis will break out if the European Union accepts in its ranks a divided Cyprus.

The spokesman said the government has no intention of becoming a vehicle through which Turkey can promote its policy on Cyprus in Europe.

Such policies, he pointed out, aim at frigthening the EU about possible consequences from the accession of a divided Cyprus with the sole objective of putting a halt to the Republic's EU membership.|

The spokesman also said that government policy should be aimed at those forces in Turkey that wish to see changes in their country and bring Turkey closer to Europe.

Commenting on the possibility of a serious crisis in the event of Cyprus' accession to the EU, prior to a political settlement, Papapetrou said Nicosia and Athens consider such a possibility rather remote, only to stress that nobody should underestimate or ignore Ankara's threats.

His comments were made in response to statements yesterday by outgoing Turkish armed forces Commander Huseyin Kivrikoglu who warned, as he handed over the command of the military to his successor, that unless the EU takes seriously into consideration the current situation in Cyprus, it will be faced with "a grave crisis."

The EU decided in Helsinki that a political settlement in Cyprus would facilitate accession but it is not a precondition for it.

Turkey continues to maintain some 35,000 troops in the northern part of Cyprus and backs the self-styled regime in Turkish occupied Cyprus, which is seeking the recognition of the international community.

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