U.S.: No change in Cyprus policy

May 6, 2004 at 8:32 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 6 (UPI) -- The United States said Thursday it does not recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus yet desires to end its isolation.

Secretary of State Colin Powell, who met a Turkish Cypriot leader in New York earlier this week, addressed him as Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat at a briefing that followed the meeting.

His description of the Turkish Cypriot leader caused an immediate protest from Cypriot Greek leader Tassos Papadopoulos.

The United States only recognize the Greek Cyprus as true representative of the disputed island.

"There's no change in U.S. recognition policy one way or the other," said State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher while explaining the U.S. position.

Last month, the Greek Cypriots rejected a U.N. plan for the reunification of the two entities. According to an agreement, the Greek Cyprus entered the European Union May 1 but the Turkish Cypriots were left in the limbo despite their positive vote.

Since both the United States and the European Union had supported the reunification, they have assured the Turkish Cypriots that they will be compensated for their yes vote.

"We are talking about steps to reduce the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community," said Boucher.

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