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DISY and RTP believe UN plan can be a basis for negotiations
2002-11-25 18:04:01

Nicosia, Nov 25 (CNA) - Ruling Democratic Rally (DISY) and the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) agreed that the UN Secretary-General's plan for a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem can constitute the basis for negotiations.

RTP leader Mehmet Ali Talat, speaking after meeting DISY leader Nicos Anastasiades in the government-controlled areas in Nicosia, said he has reports that Turkey is encouraging Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to give a positive reply to Kofi Annan's plan.

Anastasiades said they ascertained that ''a solution should not create intense feelings of injustice against either community''.|

''We really believe that with good will, we can overcome problems which might not be that visible to foreigners who have submitted the plan'' and that ''a solution, which will allow a reunited Cyprus to enter Europe for the benefit of all the people on the island, will be easier'', Anastasiades added.

Talat said Turkish Cypriots ''have some concerns regarding the provisions of the plan'' because ''it is quite clear that at least some people are going to be dislocated with the implementation of the solution of this plan and those people will be disturbed in the end''.

The Turkish Cypriot politician said he believes it would be worthwhile to accept the plan as a basis for negotiations and end the Cyprus problem by the Copenhagen European Council.

''We should do our best to start negotiations on the basis of Annan's plan and resolve our problem once and for all'', he said.

Talat said he believed that the Turkish response to the plan will be to accept it as a basis for negotiations, but said a lot of time has been lost by the Turkish Cypriot side because it did not reply by November 18 as asked by the Secretary-General.

Asked if a solution could be reached after the Copenhagen Summit, Talat said ''if we cannot reach a solution or at least finalise the foundation agreement'', this will not cause chaos to Cyprus and ''only the free areas will enter the EU''. He expressed fears that ''the division will be entrenched upon the island''.

This solution, he said, ''will be a pyrrhic victory which would not be beneficial ultimately for our common island''.

To a question if he has any concerns on the territorial provisions of the plan, Talat replied that he was speaking about ''the humanitarian aspect of the dislocation'', adding that he has ''some concerns on the territory'', but for him ''the people and not the soil'' are more important.

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.

In mid December, the island is expected to be invited by the Copenhagen European Council, along with other nine candidate countries, to join the EU.

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