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Spokesman:Denktash's statements reflect differences of opinion
2002-12-20 09:53:05

Nicosia, Dec 20 (CNA) ? Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said here Friday statements by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash reiterate his long-standing positions on Cyprus and reflect the two schools of thought in Turkey.

The Spokesman also said the decision by Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer on Thursday to reject constitutional amendments to lift a parliamentary ban on Tayyip Erdogan to claim the premiership, is a clear indication of the ongoing dispute among political circles in Turkey.

''Now we have to wait and see who will emerge as the winner in this dispute. The outcome will determine developments in the Turkish side with regard to Cyprus,'' the spokesman said.|

Asked to comment on Denktash's statements who criticised the UN, the European Union and the Greek Cypriot side for "lack of flexibility and understanding", Papapetrou pointed out that this was a "repetition of his long standing views which we have been hearing for years.''

''His remarks are part of the open conflict between the two schools of thought in the Turkish side," Papapetrou said.

He noted that this ongoing conflict can no longer be concealed, particularly after Turkey's President refused to sign a unanimous amendment to the law to enable Erdogan to become prime minister.

The spokesman said these developments in Turkey should not deter the Greek Cypriot side from its stated goal to achieve a political settlement in Cyprus.

"This is our political duty, irrespective of whether we have presidential elections in February next year or not'', he added.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island's territory. The UN has asked the two sides in Cyprus to engage in negotiations on a UN peace proposal with the aim to reach a comprehensive settlement by February 28th.


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