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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 97-11-14

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, November 14, 1997

Turks set condition for talks

THE TURKISH condition, that the pseudo-state must be recognised before a new round of negotiations commences, was given widespread coverage on yesterday's front pages.

Phileleftheros said that Ankara had not only hardened its stance on the Cyprus problem, but had also adopted a new strategy involving the condition for recognition. While US envoy, Richard Holbrooke, was talking to Turkey's prime minister about his initiative, the presidential under-secretary, Sukru Gurel was demanding international recognition for the pseudo-state.

The fact that Ankara adopted Rauf Denktash's long-standing demand, gave a new dimension to the negotiations it said. It quoted diplomatic circles as saying that this was a Turkish manoeuvre, related to the start of Cyprus' accession negotiations.

Simerini saw Gurel's statement as a Turkish attempt to torpedo Holbrooke's initiative. It also quoted Denktash as saying that as soon as accession talks between Cyprus and the EU started, the occupied part would be unified with Turkey.

During his meeting with Denktash and Clerides, Holbrooke allowed both to express their views on a host of issues, without trying to bring them round to his way of thinking. The fact that he restricted himself to listening to them, indicated, according to some diplomats, his intentions for a long negotiation process.

Agon, quoting reliable sources, said Holbrooke had prepared a package of proposals which included ways of conducting accession talks with the EU, Turkey's relations with the EU and Greco-Turkish relations. It also said that during the four-hour Denktash-Clerides meeting he had intervened many times to express his own views about matters.

Machi said that while the Cyprus government had denied reports that Holbrooke had left Cyprus empty-handed, Turkish sources claimed that Denktash had submitted a set of proposals to the US envoy.

The proposals, prepared by Denktash, Gurel, and Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem, suggested the recognition of the north and the setting up of a provisional government to oversee the establishment of a federal state. The provisional government would undertake to negotiate with the EU.

Haravghi, in a front page editorial, castigated Clerides for knowing about Holbrooke's visit in advance but not informing the National Council. It also disagreed with the "triumphalism" that greeted the start of the "much- trumpeted US initiative".

The US had shown that it was not interested in a just and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem. Its only concern was to safeguard it own regional interests.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1997

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