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Turkey 'No Right To Intervene' - Spokesman

Turkey has no right to intervene in the face-to-face peace talks between Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, said Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou yesterday.

He was reacting to comments by Turkey's Chief EU negotiator Egemen Bagis, the Deputy Prime Minister, who criticised the government's decision to postpone last week's first meeting of the second round of reunification talks. He said that the decision to cancel talks "shows how determined they are to block a resolution."

Mr. Stephanou rebutted his comment, saying: "Mr Egemen Bagis tried in his statements to put the blame on the Greek Cypriot side for the cancellation of the Christofias - Talat meeting yesterday. Turkey has no right to intervene."

Turkey wants the EU to open relations trade ties with the Turkish-Cypriot community before it complies with the EU's requirement that it opens its ports and airports to Cyprus.

However, Mr. Stephanou said Turkey's obligation to open its ports "is not linked with any other commitment either by the EU or by the Republic of Cyprus towards Turkey."

Mr. Bagis maintains that until EU countries begin direct trade with the Turkish-Cypriots and "land their planes at (the TRNC) airports", Greek-Cypriot plans and ships will not be allowed to use Turkey's airports and harbours.

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