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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-05-28

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Kranidiotis not optimistic for direct talks

  • 1055:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Kranidiotis not optimistic for direct talks

    United Nations, May 28 (CNA) -- Direct negotiations would have been easier had common ground been reached in proximity talks, Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis has stated, pointing out that pressure should be exercised on Turkey to abandon its intransigent stance towards a Cyprus settlement.

    Speaking at a press conference after a meeting with UN Chief, Kofi Annan, his Special Advisor dealing with the Cyprus problem, Diego Cordovez and UN Under-Secretary General, Sir Kieran Prendergast, Kranidiotis said he was "not very optimistic" on the prospects of direct talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, due to start in New York around July 7.

    "Things would have been much easier if common ground had been reached during proximity talks", he said, stressing that "unless Turkey realises it has to make concessions the prospects are not very good."

    Kranidiotis also pointed out that "the key to a solution to the Cyprus problem is Turkey" and called on the international community to "exert pressure on Turkey to comply with UN resolutions."

    Noting that no progress has been achieved in on-going UN-led proximity talks, Kranidiotis said, "no common ground has been reached and there has been no convergence of views due mainly to Turkish intransigence."

    Turkey, he pointed out, refuses to comply with UN resolutions, continues to maintain an occupation force in Cyprus, to bring in Turkish settlers, has set up an illegal entity in the part of the island it occupies since 1974, and promotes separatist ideas such as separate sovereignty for the occupation regime.

    Asked whether the Set of Ideas proposed by former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, is still on the table, the Greek official, described it as an "obsolete document", rendered out-of-date by new developments, namely European Union decision that Cyprus should join its ranks.

    Cyprus' accession to the EU, Kranidiotis said "it could act as a catalyst for finding a solution", and noted that "EU membership should form a part of the solution and indeed would bring definite benefits to the Turkish Cypriots."

    Furthermore, he explained that Cyprus' membership to the EU would improve Greco-Turkish relations and restore peace and stability in the area. Kranidiotis said the UN Chief has not given him specific dates concerning direct talks but told him he "intends to send invitations towards the end of June for meetings sometime in July."

    Kranidiotis also referred to a statement by Greek Defence Minister, Akis Tsochatzopoulos describing as "insensitive" a recent statement by Turkish President, Suleyman Demirel that Cyprus does not have the right to join the EU before Turkey.

    Turkey has threatened it might annex occupied Cyprus in the event the Republic joins the EU.

    CNA JD/MCH/GP/1997

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