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Kasoulides says Turkey in no hurry for solution
2002-11-25 17:54:38

Larnaca, Nov 25 (CNA) - Turkey is in no hurry for a Cyprus settlement before the Copenhagen European Council, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ioannis Kasoulides said here today.

He was speaking before his departure for London, where he will meet new Minister of State for European Affairs Dennis MacShane and Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.|

Invited to comment on statements made by his Turkish counterpart Yasar Yakis that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash will soon make a positive statement on the UN Secretary General's blueprint for Cyprus, Kasoulides said he hoped this ''will take place the soonest''.

The Foreign Minister also said it will have to be diagnosed whether there is willingness on behalf of Turkey to reach an accord on Cyprus or if Turkey is using a solution to the Cyprus problem to secure a date to commence accession negotiations with the European Union.

However, Kasoulides expressed certainty that Turkey would receive an assurance in Copenhagen to start accession negotiations with the EU.

The Greek Cypriot side replied on November 18 to the UN within the requested timeframe from the day the UN proposal was presented on November 11.

However, the Turkish Cypriot side failed to meet the deadline. Denktash remains in hospital in New York since October 7 following open-heart surgery.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.

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