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Northern Cyprus head expects new country

June 6, 2008 at 6:07 PM
NICOSIA, Cyprus, June 6 (UPI) -- Mehmet Ali Talat, president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, says he is optimistic about a new unified Cypriot state.

Talat's republic is recognized by only one country, Turkey, while the Republic of Cyprus is a member of the European Union.

Talat told Euronews.net that Turkey supports him in negotiations with Cyprus President Demitris Kristofias. But he said that Kristofias is under pressure from rejectionists on his own side and from the Greek Orthodox Church.

Talat said that a unified state would have to take the form of a federation.

"Political equality does not mean numerical equality, but it means effective participation to the decision-making and to the implementation," he said.

"A federal state based on bizonality and political equality of the two peoples -- this is very crucial for Turkish Cypriot."

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