Balkans: January 3, 2003


: On December 31 Turkey announced it supported new talks between Turk and Greek Cypriots. Turkey said the UN timetable for a reunification agreement by February 28, 2003 was acceptable. However, on January 3, the Turkish government told Turkish Cypriot leaders that an agreement to reunite Cyprus needs to meet Turkeys political goals. Several analysts interpreted this as a warning to both Turk and Greek Cypriots who are pressing for quick reunification of the island. Western wire services reported nearly 30,000 Turkish Cypriots demonstrated in favor of a quick peace agreement. Heres the key line (from a Turkish government spokesman): "...just as important as the expectations of the Turkish Cypriot people, are Turkey's historical and legal rights in its capacity as both a guarantor power and a motherland." 


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