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RTP demands Denktash's resignation
2002-12-15 14:14:37

Nicosia, Dec 15 (CNA) -- Voicing its strong opposition to the way Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash handles the Cyprus issue, Republican Turkish Party (RTP) has demanded his resignation.

RTP also said that it is ''determined to launch a campaign and struggle for a settlement until 28 February 2003 as decided by the EU Council in Copenhagen.''|

A press release issued yesterday said the Party ''demands the resignation of 'President' Denktash immediately'' and the holding of so - called ''presidential election'' to Cyprus Turkish occupied areas.

''Denktash has lost his 'community leader' title'', the press release issued by the RTP's Central Administrative Committee stressed.

It also noted that ''an important opportunity, created after so many years by the UN and the EU for the settlement of the Cyprus problem has been blocked because of the treachery of Denktash and the anti-EU front in Turkey.''

''The RTP will stand against all the moves aiming at the existence of the Turkish Cypriot people as well as attempts to block Turkish Cypriots' contacts with the outside world,'' the press release said.

Ailing Denktash said in Ankara that no one could force him to sign a UN blueprint for a Cyprus settlement and criticized the EU for accepting Cyprus in its ranks, noting that for the Cyprus problem to be solved ''Turkey should join the EU as well.''

Cyprus and other nine countries were invited Friday by the Copenhagen European Council to join the EU.

In its conclusions adopted the Council welcomed ''the commitment of the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots to continue to negotiate with the objective of concluding a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem by 28 February 2003 on the basis of the UNSG's proposals'', handed over to both sides.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.


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