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President has brief meeting with Turkish counterpart
2002-10-28 10:12:24

Copenhagen, Oct 28 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides and his Turkish counterpart met briefly today on the sidelines of a meeting between the European Union presidency (Denmark) and the leaders of the 13 candidate countries for accession.

According to CNA sources, the two men exchanged a few words about the Cyprus problem and President Clerides told President Ahmet Sezer that the closer Turkey gets to Europe, the easier it would be to solve differences.

President Clerides said Cyprus believes Turkey should be given a date for the start of accession negotiations with the EU.

President Sezer, whose troops occupy Cyprus' northern areas, asked the President of the Republic about the ongoing efforts to find a settlement in Cyprus and expressed the hope that things move towards a resolution of the problem.

President Clerides said the Greek Cypriot side is ready to continue the peace negotiations with a view at concluding them successfully, adding that he awaits for the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Dentkash to recover from open heart surgery.|

Clerides said he had been in touch with Denktash, who is in New York at present, talked to him and wished him well.

President Sezer made inquiries about the work of two ad hoc bicommunal committees the UN intends to set up in the context of the peace talks to discuss technical matters with regard to legislation that will be in place once a settlement is reached.

President Clerides said the Greek Cypriot side is ready to begin work as soon as the Turkish Cypriot side is ready. The Greek Cypriot side has already appointed its representatives to the two committees and is waiting for the Turkish Cypriot side to do the same.

The meeting between Clerides and Sezer, whose government does not recognise the government of the Republic of Cyprus, took place as the two leaders were leaving the room where they had been briefed by Dannish premier Anders Fogh Rasmussen on the outcome of last week's EU summit.

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