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Turkish Cypriot advocates conditional date for Turkey
2002-10-28 10:18:25

By Kyriakos Tsioupras -- London, Oct 28 (CNA) -- Mustafa Akinci, Turkish Cypriot politician, has expressed support for giving Turkey a conditional date for the start of accession negotiations with the European Union on the understanding that Ankara plays a positive role in a Cyprus solution and complies with the Copenhagen criteria relating to respect of democratic principles.

Speaking to the London Greek Radio, Akinci also said he would back a ''reasonable and mutually acceptable comprehensive solution'' if such a proposal were to be put forward by the UN to the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides.|

He said the two main parties which will come out stronger from next month's elections in Turkey will pursue a pro-Europe policy.

''Obviously a country pursuing a policy to become a member of the EU cannot be indifferent to Cyprus,'' he said, adding that such a policy ''implies that a solution to the Cyprus problem is necessary and Turkey should play a positive role in solving the problem.''

The Turkish Cypriot politician warned of more than one negative repercussions in the event of Cyprus entering the EU without a solution.

''I wish a way out to be the solution of the Cyprus problem with positive assistance from Turkey and Greece and on condition that Turkey implements all Copenhagen criteria, then it starts accession talks with the EU,'' Akinci said.

This, he explained, means that Turkey should be given the green light at the forthcoming December EU summit in Copenhagen.

''This may be a conditional date. Turkey should be encouraged and there is a need for all interested parties to play their positive role sooner or later,'' he said.

Asked if the absence of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash from the peace talks, due to ill health, limits the time in which to find a settlement, he said that the Cyprus problem is not a question of time but one of political will and determination.

''If we have this will and determination, there is enough time to conclude an agreement,'' he said.

Akinci backed the idea of the UN Secretary General, under whose auspices the peace talks are taking place, to come out after the Turkish elections ''with a reasonable and hopefully mutually acceptable comprehensive solution.''

UN-led direct talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Denktash, which began in January, are currently in suspension because the Turkish Cypriot leader is recovering from open heart surgery.

UN Secretary General's special adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto, who conducts the negotiations, continues his consultations with the President, Turkey, Greece and other interested parties.

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