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Government Spokesman confronts Turkish threats
2002-09-21 15:38:09

Nicosia, Sep 20 (CNA) - No threat can stop Cyprus' European Union accession course, Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou pledged today.

Referring to the threats that the stability of the region would be jeopardised if Cyprus acceded to the EU, unleashed by Turkish Ground Forces commander, Aytac Yalman, who is carrying out an illegal visit to the Turkish occupied areas of the island, Papapetrou said the Turks are "hostage to their own arguments and phraseology".|

"They know that on a government and military level, their threats to halt the island's accession course has failed", Papapetrou added.

"Nothing can stop our accession and this message should go in all directions in Cyprus and abroad", the Spokesman stressed.

He further said that, based on political criteria, Cyprus ranks first in all fields, noting that in talks to solve the Cyprus problem it has shown that it is considerably interested in a solution, the respect of principles and international law, and for a compromise, while by maintaining its economy on enviable levels, has secured its EU accession course.

The Turkish commander expressed support to Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's insistence for a solution with the establishment of "two equally sovereign states" and reiterated the threat that "if the Greek Cypriot side enters the EU, then peace and stability in eastern Mediterranean will be jeopardised and a crisis will ensue".

Cyprus, which opened accession negotiations with the EU in 1998, has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Cyprus is expected to be invited to join the EU in the first phase enlargement, during the Copenhagen European Council in December.

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