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Government regrets Erdogan's visit to occupied areas
2002-11-07 11:50:46

Nicosia, Nov 7 (CNA) ? The government has expressed regret that the first move by the winner of Turkey's elections is to pay an illegal visit to Cyprus' Turkish occupied areas.

Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou also said no early conclusions should be drawn from the initial public statements the leader of the election winner Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made on Cyprus.

''Erdogan's visit to the occupied areas is illegal, it is contrary to UN decisions and to international law and order. I regret that a political leader who is advocating change and progress in his own country, begins his international activities with such a far cry of illegality", Papapetrou said after Thursday's cabinet meeting.

Erdogan is planning to visit Cyprus to attend ''celebrations'' for the unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) the Turkish Cypriots declared on 15 November 1983. The UN has branded the UDI ''legally invalid.'' Only Ankara has recognised the self-styled Turkish Cypriot regime.|

Replying to questions, the spokesman said he would wait a while before he passes a judgment on Erdogan, noting that he considers very significant what Erdogan will say during his visit to Athens on November 18.

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