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Kasoulides: We are not ready to accept anything for a Cyprus settlement
2002-10-19 08:40:33

Nicosia, Oct 19 (CNA) -- Cyprus' fervent wish to become member of the EU does not result the readiness of our side to accept whatever ideas may be put forward for the settlement of the Cyprus problem, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides stressed here today.

Invited to say whether the Greek Cypriot side has set limits as regards what it is going to accept, Kasoulides said that ''we do not take decisions by determining the bottom line'', but noted that ''margins have been set out by us and we will make it clear to the UN representatives that we will not go further than them, under any circumstances.''

Asked about today's referendum in Ireland for the ratification of the EU Nice Treaty, Kasoulides expressed hope that the Irish people will vote for the ratification of the Treaty.|

Asked about the annual military exercises of Cyprus and Greece Nikiforos and Toxotis, the minister said that ''we are ready to take steps towards the reduction of tension in such a critical period'' noting however that this will depend on the Turkish side's stance.

Kasoulides also noted that if the Turkish side accepted the demilitarisation of the island ''we would have proceeded with it''.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.

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