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Kasoulides says low tones required to confront Turkish threats
2002-09-21 16:27:15

By Apostolis Zoupaniotis -- New York, Sep 21 (CNA) ? Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides noted that Cyprus should work with low tones with a view to confront Turkish threats launched against the islands' accession to the European Union.

Speaking to CNA after addressing the 57th Session of the UN General Assembly, Kasoulides said he was not surprised by the Turkish efforts to culminate the fuss concerning this issue and noted that Ankara hopes that this last "trump card" up its sleeve would block Cyprus accession to the EU

Kasoulides expressed the belief that the Turkish efforts will not bear fruit and noted that the Europeans "are now in a position to perceive whether Ankara is bluffing or talking seriously". |

He also noted that the Greek Cypriot side must react reservedly to the Turkish threats "because the things we have to gain by waiting for the significant decisions that will be taken in December (at the EU Copenhagen Summit) are very serious and we cannot put them at risk for any temporary motional satisfactions."

Referring to the ongoing UN-led direct talks between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, Kasoulides said that Denktash's proposals put forward at the negotiating table do not leave any room for optimism.

He also noted that the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has made some substantial moves towards both sides and especially towards the Turkish side as to the positions it must abandon, which impede the solution of the Cyprus problem.

"I wish that the UN Secretary General's effort will go on from this point in October", Kasoulides said. Annan will meet Clerides and Denktash in New York October 3 and 4.

Kasoulides also stressed the importance of the fact that Cyprus had achieved to avert the adoption of new Turkish positions in the final statement of the annual coordination meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.

He also expressed satisfaction with the meetings he held in New York.

Clerides and Denktash are engaged in UN-led talks since mid January this year with a view to reach a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem. Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of 1974, is a frontrunner for EU accession when the 15-nation bloc meets to decide in December on its new members.

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