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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-11-27
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.229/06 25-26-27.11.06
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Talat stated that there is no legal obstacle for direct flights from Britain to the illegal Tymbou airportTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (27.11.06) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Talat has stated that they examined the legal aspect of the direct flights from Britain to the illegal Tymbou airport and that there is no legal obstacle for direct flights. Mr Talat returned to the occupied areas after the completion of his contacts in Gaziantep, Turkey. Addressing a press conference regarding his visit to Turkey, Mr Talat said that they are working for a long time now on the issue of the application that they have submitted to the British Civilian Aviation Department and that they examined the legal aspect of the application. According to our opinion there is no legal problem. From our point of view, the whole issue is political, he argued. Reminding that after the referendums, Britain and the EU stated that the isolations must be lifted and that direct flights must begin, Mr Talat argued that with this application they are giving Britain and the EU the chance to fulfil their promises. Mr Talat said that they expect a positive reply to their application and added that in case the reply is negative they will continue their struggle until the end.
Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (27.11.06) refers to the issue under the title Air corridor above the Acrotiri bases! The paper notes: According to the formula which is developed by the British government, the air corridor used for the landings and departures for Britains air bases of Acrotiri will be opened to the airplanes which will be landing and departing from Tymbou. In return for this, Turkey will open its ports to the Greek Cypriots and in this manner the crisis in the EU will be overcome. Among the information which is acquired is that all the centres concerned with the Cyprus problem are giving full support to this step that Britain will make as a guarantor power so that the impasse is overcome.
 Companies and organizations from Britain, Germany and France have expressed interest to take GSM licence for the occupied area of the islandTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (27.11.06) reports that after the self-styled government decided to sell GSM licences, in addition to the two operators which are active now in the occupied areas in the field of GSM services, companies and organizations from Britain, Germany and France, which could do international roaming, as well as Turkeys AVEA company have expressed interest to take licence for the occupied area of the Island. The self-styled minister of public works and transport, Salih Usar has said that they completed the work for giving license to KKTC Telsim (Vodafone) and Turkcell North Cyprus and that they have submitted a preliminary study to these two companies. Mr Usar said that Turkcell North Cyprus replied to them regarding this study and conveyed its views. He added that now they are waiting for the views of Vodafone which had taken over the KKTC Telsim. Mr Usar noted that after the turn over of the licenses to these two companies they could give licenses to other companies as well.
 Statements by Gul before leaving for FinlandIllegal Bayrak television (26.11.06) broadcast that the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul made statements before his departure to Finland today where he will be attending the 8th Europe-Mediterranean Foreign Ministers meeting starting tomorrow.
As part of his contacts in the Finnish capital Helsinki, Mr Gul will be meeting with his Finnish Counterpart Erkki Tuomioja where the Cyprus issue is expected to top the agenda.
Expressing Turkeys readiness to attend a meeting that would bring all the concerned parties in Cyprus together, Mr Gul said Ankara would support any initiative that would help to bring about a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.
Commenting on the Finnish proposals on Cyprus, Mr Gul said that the proposals had yet to be drafted into written form and added that discussions were still continuing over the proposals.
He also noted that the issue of the occupied fenced city of Varosha could only be taken up as part of comprehensive negotiations on the Cyprus problem within the United Nations framework.
Meanwhile the Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja has stated that he does not expect any progress or breakthrough to be achieved over Turkeys refusal to open its ports to Greek Cypriot traffic before the upcoming EU summit on the 6th of December or any time in the near future.
He added that Turkeys refusal to open its ports will have adverse effects on Turkeys EU negotiations process.
Expressing the hope that a suspension of Turkeys EU accession negotiations will not take place at this point in time, the Finnish Foreign Minister however warned that a continuation of the status quo was not possible if the Finnish initiative failed.
He said that the EU will not remain indifferent to Turkeys refusal to open its ports.
Meanwhile, earlier, the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement denying reports in the Greek Cypriot media that the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul will be meeting with the Cypriot Foreign Minister Georgos Lillikas as part of his contacts in Helsinki.
The statement said that Mr Mehmet Ali Talat and the Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos were the only two collocutors that could hold negotiations on the Cyprus problem.
 Gul on Turkish press reports of a French base in CyprusIllegal Bayrak television (25.11.06) broadcast the following:
Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul has announced that Ankara has informed the French authorities of its discontent over an attempt by France to open a military base in South Cyprus.
Earlier, reports were published in the Turkish media that a military agreement was to be signed between the Greek Cypriot Administration and France.
Responding to a written motion by a deputy from the True Path Party on the issue, Mr Gul reminded reports earlier published in the press that a military agreement is to be signed between the Greek Cypriot Administration and France which will make it possible for the French Armed Forces to use the Military Base in Paphos.
The Foreign Minister explained that Turkey had asked for an explanation from France about the reports.
He also added that the French authorities were also advised to refrain from committing such acts which could affect negatively the negotiations process between the two sides in Cyprus and peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Abdullah Gul also said its been learned that the draft agreement is still being examined by the French officials.
 Statements by Ali BabacanAnkara Anatolia news agency reported the following from Ankara
"Actors in the markets closely pursue the developments on Cyprus because there is the matter of the profit and loss in it," Turkish State Minister and chief negotiator for EU talks Ali Babacan said on Sunday.
In an exclusive interview with the A.A correspondent, Babacan replied to questions on relations with the EU within the scope of Cyprus question, December 6th, outcomes of the EU Leaders' Summit, and the economic impacts of the outcomes in question.
"I think the expectation of the markets is (possibility for a solution is weak. However, there will not be a very bad result even if a solution can not be achieved). The policy of the Turkish government on Cyprus is very clear. We can not act by basing on fears and economic concerns. Economy is different than politics," Babacan said.
"Attaining a compromise on the ideas on which Finland works will be the best probable result," Babacan said, indicating that: "In fact, we don't expect a black result in relations with the EU within the framework of the Cyprus issue. We even don't consider a dark grey result. We have determined that even Greece and Greek Cypriot side do not want Turkey's break off from the EU process."
"We will not make concessions. Everybody should see what the Greek Cypriot side does. We will not make concessions whatever the cost will be," Babacan added.
"May be they think that Turkey could accept it if they put much pressure. If so, they are mistaken," he noted.
Babacan said Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul would proceed to Riga from Finland, indicating that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's talks with several leaders in Riga was also in question. "Such kind of talks will be beneficial prior to December 6th, and summit on December 15th," he noted.
Babacan said although Greece seemed outside the Cyprus question, it stopped the industry policies chapter in talks. He said Turkey's industry policy has nothing to do with Cyprus and removal of the blockade on `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´ (`TRNC´), noting that such a relationship was not in Commission reports.
Emphasizing that the EU made the Greek Cypriot party´ a member knowing about the Cyprus problem, Babacan said: "Greek Cypriot party is different from the other EU member countries. It is an island where there are conflicts and which was divided into two. This did not add anything else but to deepen the problems. Did it add anything to the EU or a hinderance? All those had to be taken into consideration while accepting membership of a country. I can clearly say that the Greek Cypriot side is a very big headache and a problem for the EU."
Babacan said Cyprus and actual talks could be carried out separately, indicating that, "we are also opposed to freezing of the Cyprus question. We are in an effort to resume talks within the scope of the UN to find a solution."
 The permanent under secretary rules at a moratorium on developing usurped Greek Cypriot properties. More applications to the Compensation CommissionTurkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (27.11.06) reports that the permanent under secretary at the self-style ministry of internal affairs, Hasan Findik told the paper that stopping the constructions in the occupied areas would be unacceptable.
In an interview to YENI DUZEN, Mr Findik referred to the 2nd Area of Kyrenia decree which has been published by the self-styled government, and said: Stopping the constructions is unacceptable and we have not such logic. If, however, we do not take measures, if we do not protect the coasts, if we do not prevent constructions to be built in the beds of the streams, what will the result be? The constructions have not stopped and they continue. . He expressed the above-mentioned views replying to a question on how the need for the above-mentioned decree emerged.
Referring to the interest of the foreigners for buying property in the occupied areas of the island, he said that in 2004 there was a boom in the constructions and that the number of the foreigners who applied for the purchase of property was 228 in 2000, 309 in 2001, 591 in 2002, 955 in 2003, 2.827 in 2004, 1.571 in 2005 and 1.521 until 30 October 2006.
Referring to the number of the Greek Cypriots who applied to the Property Compensation Commission, Mr Findik said that this number reached 76 and that in all the cases the property in question is thousands of donums (a land measure of 1000 square meters). Mr Findik noted, inter alia the following: It came to light that today we can reach nowhere with the ITEM law and the global exchange (of properties). It was seen that this issue could not have a result with the lawsuits which amassed and ended at the ECHR and that the Greek Cypriots had a demand for this commission. We are entering into cases every day. The fact that we reached to an agreement with the property owners and that they see that the injustice towards them is eliminated, even partly, makes me happy. I was not very peaceful while evaluating and distributing the properties of the Greek Cypriots for 21 years. Now I am peaceful when we discuss with the Greek Cypriots and find individual solutions. Ten cases have been completed. The seven of them were compensated and the three will be returned after the solution. .
 Mr Talat´s reactions to the Cyprus Government´s efforts to protect the property rights of the Greek CypriotsIllegal Bayrak television (25.11.06) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, has issued a warning that the free areas of Cyprus have become risky for Turkish Cypriots with the passing of a new law on property in Cyprus which means anyone buying, selling, renting or mortgaging occupied Greek Cypriot property could face up to seven years imprisonment.
Speaking at a television program, Mr Talat made an evaluation of the amended legislation in the Republic of Cyprus on property and last weeks incident at the English School.
Alleging that the free areas of Cyprus had become risky for the Turkish Cypriots after the passing of the law, Mr Talat said that the amended legislation is being examined.
Mr Talat pointed out that those buying, selling, renting or mortgaging properties owned by Greek Cypriots in the occupied areas, could face legal proceedings if one launches a complaint against them.
He said that those who are in such a position will be arrested by the police if they attempt to cross into the free areas and will have to prove that they didnt buy, sell or use any property owned by Greek Cypriots.
`This is a very serious danger`, he said.
The amended legislation has existed since October 20th but only became known after an announcement by Greek Cypriot Justice Minister Sophoclis Sophocleous last Tuesday.
The law caused widespread concern among the Turkish Cypriot people, concluded illegal Bayrak.
 Mr Christofias clarifies the provision of the law aimed at protecting the property rights of the Greek CypriotsIllegal Bayrak television (25.11.06) broadcast the following:
The Speaker of the Greek Cypriot House of Representatives AKEL Leader Demitris Christofias has said that the arrest of Turkish Cypriots, who are currently living in or using properties formerly owned by Greek Cypriots in the North, is out of question.
Speaking to the BRT newsroom, Mr Christofias responded to questions on the amended legislation in South Cyprus, last weeks attack on a group of Turkish Cypriot pupils in South Cyprus and the opening of a Turkish-Language School in Limassol.
Mr Christofias expressed the view that those living in properties formerly owned by Greek Cypriots in the North or using such properties without having commercial ambitions should have no concerns while crossing into the South, as the amended legislation is just intended to prevent the selling of those properties.
Expressing the view that the aim of the law is to prevent the commercial use of properties formerly owned by Greek Cypriots, he said that those using such properties for commercial use could be prosecuted.
Responding to a question put to him, Mr Christofias denied reports that lists consisting of names of Turkish Cypriots to be arrested were given to police at the border gates.
Reminding that Turkish Cypriots were moved to the North while Greek Cypriots to the South in line with the Population Agreement in 1975, he said that many Greek Cypriot refugees had to be placed in houses owned by Turkish Cypriots without issuing title deeds to them.
Referring to the attack on a group of Turkish Cypriot pupils at the English School in South Cyprus, he said that the attack was not an organized one, adding that many circles in the South condemned it.
Pointing out that it would be wrong to exaggerate the incident, the AKEL Leader said that intellectuals in both sides should be determined to solve the problems through dialogue.
Responding to a question on the opening of a Turkish-Language school in Limassol, Mr Christofias said ` as far as I know, the Greek Cypriot Administration is not against the opening of a Turkish-Language school.
But he said that the problem is that Turkish Cypriot families living in Limassol are not asking for a separate school and that the number of those wanting a separate school was not enough.
Responding to a question about the NO vote used by his AKEL party during the 2004 referendum, Mr Christofias said that his party had asked for the postponement of the referendum as it thought that the Annan Plan was not protecting the rights of the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots but just of those of Turkey.
He said that the party had been forced to say NO when its proposal was rejected by the Turkish Side.
 Finnish embassy to Nicosia: The proposals of Finland have not been changedTurkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (27.11.06) reports that an official from the Finnish embassy to Nicosia told the paper that the proposals of the Finnish term presidency have not been changed and that they still consider these proposals to be the only way out.
He noted that the responsibility is on the shoulders of the sides concerned: The Republic of Cyprus, the Turkish Cypriot community and Turkey. If we see that there is a possibility of our proposals being accepted, then we will think of submitting them in writing. Our aim is to find a solution which will secure the conduction of direct trade with the northern part of Cyprus and the opening of the Turkish ports and airports to the Cypriot ships and airplanes, he said.
 The Cyprus problem to be discussed in the sidelines of NATOTurkish Cypriot daily OZGUR DUSUNCE newspaper (27.11.06) reports that, according to some information, the Cyprus problem will be discussed in the back stage of the NATO summit in Riga, which will take place before the EU Summit in December. It is certain that the Cyprus problem will be discussed in bilateral meetings with the heads of states such as Italy, Britain and France.
VATAN newspaper refers to the information under the title There is no Cyprus problem in the alliance!
 British think-tank on Turkey´s relations with Russia in view of Turkey´s EU obligationsUnder the title Failed EU entrance could mean stronger ties to Russia, Turkish ZAMAN on line (26.11.06) reports the following:
According to a British think-tank, the Center for European Reform (CER), if EU membership negotiations were postponed, Turkey would look for a new alliance, perhaps in Russia.
Known for its EU studies, the CERs December-January bulletin reported that the European Union was capable of postponing membership negotiations with the Turkish government and that Turkey was capable of giving up on EU membership.
An angry and disappointed Turkey would spurn any partnership that fell short of full membership.
Rejected by the European Union, Turkey might turn its attention to alternative allies, the article said, commenting that trading and political ties between Russia and Turkey have burgeoned in recent years.
Some senior figures in the Kremlin argue that both countries are outcasts from the European mainstream and should therefore stick together.
The article explained that most of the European Union's gas imports came through pipelines running over Russian territory. The European Union wants to diversify for the sake of energy security. Almost all the alternative routes for Caspian or Middle Eastern gas entering Europe pass through Anatolia.
CER Director Charles Grant and Chief Economist Katinka Barysch said that if Turkey turned away from the European Union toward Russia, the European Union could find it much harder to decrease its reliance on Russian energy and pipelines.
The article also said the unions ability to influence the Islamic world would diminish and it would be seen as a Christian club.
Turkey may continue to modernize and open its economy and consolidate its democracy. However, progress would be much slower and patchier than it would be if Turkey stayed on the path to EU accession.
 Russian Deputy Foreign Minister on relations between Turkey and RussiaUnder the title Russia shares Turkey's concerns on Kurdish issue The New Anatolian newspaper (27.11.06) reports the following from Moscow:
Russia is deeply concerned about the looming threat of Iraq's disintegration and shares the concerns of Turkey on the Kurdish issue, said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko in an interview with a group of Turkish journalists in Moscow over the weekend.
Deputy Foreign Minister Grushko underlined that on a growing range of international issues, including Iraq, Iran and the Arab-Israeli conflict, positions of Russia and Turkey have become very close, sometimes even identical. "Our relations are rising to a level of a multifaceted partnership, a goal stipulated by our heads of state in Dec 2004," Grushko stressed.
On Turkey's bid to join the European Union, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister underlined that this process should promote greater stability and mutually beneficial international cooperation in the region, and also raised Moscow's expectation that Turkey's commitments to the EU during the accession process will not hinder development of the multifaceted Russian-Turkish partnership.
Stressing that Russia has always advocated a comprehensive, fair and viable solution to the Cyprus problem in line with the UN resolutions, Deputy Foreign Minister Grushko said Turkish and Greek Cypriots should be encouraged for resumption of full-scale negotiations with the goal of reaching a comprehensive settlement. He also said Russia is prepared to carry on a policy of developing economic relations with the Turkish Cypriots on condition of compliance with the principles of international law and the UN resolutions.
On the claims of the Armenian genocide and problems between Turkey and Armenia, Alexander Grushko expressed hope that improvement of Turkish-Armenian relations will contribute to a greater stability in the region. "In our opinion, the parties should agree to jointly address issues related to the genocide. Russia's position on the issue is well known: relations today must not be made hostage to history," he said. Grushko also expressed support for Turkish proposal for establishing an international commission of historians. "We think that implementation of the initiative on setting up an international commission of historians, in one form or another, could be beneficial," he said.
Here is what Deputy Foreign Minister Grushko had to tell us:
-Russia and Turkey have stepped up political cooperation in recent years. What is Moscow's view of the quality of bilateral relations and their future, in particular over the next decade?
-GRUSHKO: Russian-Turkish relations have been progressing dynamically, and political dialogue has become more active at the top level. The leaders of the two countries have met six times since December 2004, when the Russian head of state made an official visit to Turkey for the first time in the history of bilateral relations. They regularly talk on the telephone and exchange messages.
Our foreign policy departments are interacting very intensively and effectively, as proved by a packed schedule of their consultations. This month, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul in Moscow, First Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Denisov held talks with the leaders of the Turkish foreign ministry, and two rounds of ministerial consultations were staged in Ankara.
Our relations show that the positions of our countries coincide or are similar on a growing range of international issues. In fact, they are rising to a level of a multifaceted partnership. This goal was stipulated by the heads of the two states in the Joint Political Declaration they signed in December 2004.
Out trade and economic cooperation has given a powerful impulse to bilateral relations. Bilateral trade amounted to $12.6 billion in 2005 and is growing at a fast rate. We expect to raise it to $25 billion by 2008.
Relations in the fuel and energy sector play a crucial part in our cooperation. Russian companies are prepared to contribute to the construction of underground storage facilities and other elements of the gas infrastructure in Turkey, as well as in projects stipulating the delivery of Russian gas to global markets via Turkey.
There are good cooperation opportunities in the generation of electricity, including at nuclear power plants. We also regard military-technical cooperation as a promising element of bilateral relations.
Tourism promotes contacts on a personal level; about 2 million Russian tourists visit Turkey every year. We have agreed to hold events dedicated to Russian and Turkish culture in 2007 and 2008 to encourage state cultural exchanges.
Taking into account the level of cooperation we have reached and future possibilities, we think that Russian-Turkish relations have a fair chance of progressing to the benefit of our nations and in the interests of stronger regional security and development.
-How do you view Turkish foreign policy on the issues such as the Iranian nuclear program, Iraq, and the Arab-Israeli conflict?
-GRUSHKO: On the whole Ankara's official position on these problems is seen as realistic and aimed at their speediest political settlement in the interests of peace and stability in that region. Our approaches to the solution of these problems are very close and sometimes identical, which is a good foundation for an active Russian-Turkish exchange of views. We value confidential communication established between us in the recent period on the issues indicated, and are ready to pursue it further.
Subtitle: Rising sectarian violence and future of Iraq
-What does Russia think about Iraq and its future? Does Moscow share Ankara's concerns about the possible disintegration of Iraq?
-GRUSHKO: We are deeply concerned about the situation in Iraq, where a large-scale civil conflict is brewing and has already spread to the relatively tranquil Shiite southern provinces. There is a looming threat of Iraq's disintegration. We stand fully for preserving its territorial integrity, and share the concern of our Turkish partners, including on the Kurdish issue.
We believe that the process of national reconciliation can start on the basis of agreements reached at the meeting on Iraq held in Cairo in November 2005 under the banner of the Arab League and attended by the leaders of the major political forces and ethnic and religious groups of Iraq.
Outlining a timetable for the presence of multinational forces in Iraq may considerably ease tensions there.
We are convinced that the international community must not stop its efforts to harmonize the warring sides' positions. Neighboring countries have not yet exhausted their possibilities either. Turkey regularly attends the conferences of foreign and interior ministries of Iraq's neighbor countries.
Russia is prepared to contribute to drafting and implementing any initiative that can facilitate an early stabilization of the situation. In our opinion, a political settlement in Iraq based on a broad consensus between Kurds and Shiite and Sunnite Arabs would contribute to the development of a civilized model of a federative state with a balance of interests of the regions and the federal center.
Subtitle: Turkey's EU perspective, Cyprus question
-Accession to the European Union is a major priority of Turkey's foreign policy. What do you think are the possible reflections of Turkey's EU process to the Turkish-Russian relations?
-GRUSHKO: We are closely monitoring Ankara's intention to become a full member of the EU. In our opinion, this process, which will depend on the sovereign decisions of Turkey and the EU countries, should promote greater security and stability, and be mutually beneficial to international cooperation in the region, and should prevent tensions and the appearance of division lines.
We believe that issues directly bearing on Russian-Turkish relations can appear on the agenda at the early stages of EU-Turkish negotiations. One of them can concern compatibility between bilateral contracts and agreements and EU norms regulating foreign trade, energy relations, transport, visa regimes, and so on.
Russia does not want Turkey's commitments to the EU to hinder the development of multifaceted Russian-Turkish partnership, trade and economic cooperation, or complicate the entry of Russian visitors to Turkey. In bilateral relations with Turkey, we stress our desire to hold prompt consultations aimed at minimizing possible negative effects of the EU accession on Russian-Turkish relations.
-Ankara expects Russia to support it on the issue of ending the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. What is Russia's stand on the issue of the Cyprus settlement? Will Moscow advance relevant initiatives?
-GRUSHKO: Russia has always advocated a comprehensive, fair and viable solution to the Cyprus problem in keeping with relevant UN resolutions. We have worked consistently to ensure the legitimate interests of Greek and Turkish Cypriots, and will continue to act in this vein. We think UN Security Council resolutions and the assistance of the UN Secretary-General should be used to encourage the parties involved in the conflict to resume full-scale negotiations.
Definite results have been attained in the past year. Dr. Ibrahim Gambari, the UN Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs, who visited Cyprus last July, coordinated a mechanism for starting an inter-ethnic dialogue on the everyday life of the two communities and on substantive issues. Both can facilitate the solution of fundamental problems hindering a comprehensive settlement. In our opinion, the international community and all countries working for a settlement of the Cyprus problem should help Cypriots advance towards these goals.
We believe that steps should be taken to strengthen the leading role of the UN in resolving the Cyprus problem and the role of the five permanent member states as the main body of international political monitoring. We are prepared to contribute to the resumption of the Good Offices Mission of the UN Secretary General.
We think that the two parties' striving for settlement should be encouraged, and we are prepared to carry on a policy of developing economic relations with the Turkish Cypriot community on condition of compliance with the principles of international law and UN resolutions.
Subtitle: Armenian genocide claims, international commission
-Can Russia propose ways to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and normalize relations between Turkey and Armenia?
-GRUSHKO:We think direct Armenian-Azerbaijani contacts must be resumed to bring about a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. In our opinion, the recent meetings between foreign ministers were both productive and instructive, and paved the way to solving outstanding problems.
Russia and its partners from the OSCE Minsk Group think it crucial to continue to discuss the positive achievements made in the Karabakh settlement since mid-2005. We support the initiative of formalizing the coordinated settlement principles by signing a relevant document.
As for Turkish-Armenian relations, we are confident that their improvement could contribute to greater stability in the region. We know that Armenian and Turkish leaders have been communicating, and think that bilateral consultations at different levels, including a top one, will facilitate the search for reasonable compromises.
In our opinion, the parties should agree to jointly address issues related to the genocide. Russia's position on the issue is well known: relations today must not be made hostage to history. The adoption of a relevant law in the French parliament has provoked a wave of indignation in the Turkish community. A reply wave of anti-Armenian sentiments would hinder the normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia. We think that the implementation of the initiative on setting up an international commission of historians, in one form or another, could be beneficial.
- The Chechen issue had at one time been a negative impact on Turkish-Russian relations. Has the situation changed?
-GRUSHKO: We respect the balanced approach of the Turkish officials to the issue of combating terrorists and separatists in the North Caucasus, which is particularly painful to us. We welcome measures, taken in the last years, to stop the operation of self-proclaimed "representatives of Ichkeria" in Turkey, and hope that Ankara will respect our antiterrorist concerns. Double standards must not be allowed in our common fight against international terrorism.
 The European Parliament´s High Level Contact Group held contacts in CyprusIllegal Bayrak television (24.11.06) broadcast the following:
The European Parliaments High Level Contact Group for relations with the Turkish Cypriot People has made it clear that its major objective is to help end the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot People and thus to promote the reunification of the island.
Members of the group who have been having contacts in the Republic since Wednesday, held a press conference at the Ledra Palace Hotel this afternoon at the end of their discussions and inspections.
The 25 member group this morning had inspections in Gazimagusa (occupied Famagusta) and met with representatives of non-governmental organizations at a round table meeting at the Ledra Palace Hotel.
At the end of their contacts, members of the group held a press conference to make an evaluation of their two days of discussions and inspections in Cyprus.
Speaking at the conference, the Coordinator of the Contact Group Franscoise Grossetete read out a written statement in which she explained that the major objective of the Group is to help end the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot People and thus to promote the reunification of the island.
Mrs Grossetete explained that the aim of the groups third visit to Cyprus was to get the views of the civil society, including students, trade unions and non-governmental organizations.
She said that the group was pleased to be able to meet with representatives from the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce and the Greek Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and Industry, adding that these exchanges demonstrated that the business communities in both sides are willing to discuss issues on the economic development of both communities with the perspective of unification.
Referring to the Groups visit to the EU Programme Support Office in the North, she said that the Contact Group is pleased with steps taken by the EU Commission in the last two months and expressed the Groups full support to the Commissions approach.
Voicing their support to the efforts by the Commission and the Council aimed at providing a solution to the issue of direct trade, she expressed the hope that the Finnish efforts will lead to a win-win solution for whole Cyprus.
On the Cyprus issue, Mrs Grossetete called on the two sides to put aside their prejudices and to work bring about a solution to the Cyprus problem and to realize the reunification of the island a common goal both for the European Union and the United Nations.
Responding to a question on the property law in South Cyprus, she said that the Turkish Cypriot people have concerns while crossing into the South because of the law and said that it will be hard to bring about a solution to the property issue before a comprehensive solution is found to the Cyprus problem.
In a written statement, the High Level Contact Group also praised the works carried out by the Missing Persons Committee and stated that these works will help reconciliation.
The Group strongly condemned the attack against Turkish Cypriot pupils at the English School in the South and welcomed the arrest of perpetrators.
Underling the need for further contacts between the two sides on the island, the Group said that more communication is needed between the two sides to remove the psychological obstacles between them.
Calling on the two sides to show the necessary good will to remove the existing prejudices, it underlined the need for the two sides, especially youths, to be in contact to achieve this target.
 Finland: The talks ended in failureNTV television (12 hours, 27.11.06) broadcast live that the EU term president Finland announced that the talks which continued for some time with the sides on the Cyprus problem ended in failure.
The Finish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja who held separated meetings with the Cypriot Minister of Foreign affairs George Lillikas and the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, who are in Tampere,Finland, attending the Euro-Mediterranean Process (EuroMed) foreign ministers' meeting, stated that the talks ended in failure.
Speaking at a press conference, Mr Tuomioja stated that there is no ground for continuing the efforts within the framework of their proposals and added: All sides have been constructive during the negotiations but at this stage we came to an end.
Mr Tuomioja added that they will work together with the EU Commission as regards the continuation of Turkeys accession negotiations, and that the decision will be taken by the General Affairs Council in December.