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Media Watch 2003

23 May 2003
Source: Cyprus Mail
Comment: The following article appeared Phileleftheros of Nicosia on 23 May 2003.
Simitis: Negotiations only if there would be an alteration in Turkish stance

London: “There is no point in restarting the negotiations for the settlement of the Cyprus issue if Turkey insists on supporting the same views”, stated on Thursday in London the Greek PM and President of the European Council Costas Simitis, after the meeting with his British counterpart Tony Blair. Asked whether the Cyprus issue had been discussed and which was the position of the British government regarding the possibility of restarting the negotiations under the auspices of UNO, Mr. Simitis said that the Cyprus issue had been discussed and “we share the same views”.

“There is no point in restarting the negotiations within UNO. Turkey holds the same position. There should be a change in Turkey’s stance and then we could restart the talks, since the Annan plan should not be downgraded with discussions not leading to any results”, he added.

During the meeting that lasted two hours, Simitis and Blair discussed a series of other topics centred on the European Council in Thessalonica, which is due the following month and during which the constitution plan will be discussed. Also, other issues will be put on the table, such as the post-war Iraq and the foreign and defence policy.

According to Mr. Simitis, Mr. Blair agreed with the procedure to be followed.

Mr. Simitis was escorted by the Greek Ambassador in Britain, Alexandros Sandis, the Deputy Press Minister, Tilemahos Hytiris and other officials."