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    FM Gul lays Turkish position on table for Straw

    Hürriyet Haber
    27.01.2006 - 09:16 | Son Güncelleme:

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul laid out clearly for British Foreign Minister Jack Straw how the Ankara administration feels on the subject of Cyprus. Meeting with Straw, Gul put Turkey's latest 10 element plan for a solution in Cyprus in front of the British FM, saying as he did so, "We have done what we could do. If the other side doesn't take any steps, we will forget all about this business. We will begin approaching the subject of Cyprus through other channels."

    Though he underlined that England, the EU, and the UN all support Turkey's latest Cyprus initiative, FM Straw also stressed that in order for the EU process to continue for Turkey, sea and air ports would have to be opened up to Greek Cypriots, and that this motion would have to be brought to the Turkish Parliament (TBMM).
    In response to this, Gul said "We applaud your support for the new initiative, and the fact that you met with Northern Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat. The Greek Cypriots support the continuation of the division of the island, with no steps being taken to change this. The Greek Cypriots should not be against the EU's strategic interests. But if no one from their side steps up to this matter, we will pull back, and forget this latest initiative. We will redirect our efforts to different channels. The EU should keep its promises made to Northern Cypriot Turks though."
     
    Sources say that Gul's reference to "pursuing other channels" on the Cyprus matter can be interpreted as Ankara's plan to get other countries to officially recognize Northern Cyprus. Straw also let it be known that not only did he support Turkey's latest initiative, but that he planned to express England's support for the plan in a press conference to be held later.
     
    FM Straw was received into the VIP Salon at Ankara's Esenboga Airport by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Athens: No go on the plan

    The Athens administration weighed in on the latest Turkish plan for a Cyprus solution, saying "There is no difference in the suggestions made this time and the ones from before. They will bring no results. A four way summit is impossible." "

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