Government Spokesman replies to Turkish Foreign Minister

June 3, 1999

It is regrettable that the Foreign Minister of Turkey, Mr Cem, either for internal consumption or because he is seeking to annoy the Greek Cypriot side, has claimed that the idea of confederation is gaining ground on account of Turkey's stand.

Neither the Government of the Republic of Cyprus nor the Greek Cypriot side in general will be carried away by Mr Cemīs statements. As he knows only too well, he will not secure recognition of a Turkish Cypriot state for he has no international support in this respect. This is evident from the fact that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Denktash, and Turkey have repeatedly sought recognition of the pseudostate and have repeatedly received a negative reply.

As for Mr Cemīs allegation that the Turkish Cypriot community has the right to secession, we wish to point out to him that in this matter too he has no international support. For if such a right were recognized, then the so-called "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" would also be recognized. Moreover, all the UN Security Council resolutions envisage a Cyprus settlement based on a state of Cyprus with a single sovereignty and international personality and a single citizenship and explicitly exclude union with any other country or any form of partition or secession.

Finally, it is neither because of Turkey's policy or threats that the decision was taken to install the S-300 missiles in Crete instead of Cyprus. It was because the USA and the European Union had indicated that the creation of any tension should be avoided in view of the fact that serious initiatives were about to be taken for resolving the Cyprus problem. It was purely with this in mind that the Cyprus Government decided to have the missiles installed in Crete.

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