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13 July, 1999
The Greek government sternly criticized Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit yesterday for a statement in which he refused to recognize the existence of a political problem on Cyprus.
"Mr. Ecevit's statements regarding Cyprus constitute an unprecedented provocation to the international community. Mr. Ecevit and the Turkish government endorse the invasion and illegal occupation to claim that the Cyprus problem has been solved," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said.
In an interview with the state-run Turkish TRT network on Sunday, Mr. Ecevit claimed that "the Cyprus problem ceased existing after the creation of the 'Turkish Cypriot state'," and that "the entire world has to understand the reality of an independent Turkish state on Cyprus".
In response, the Greek government spokesman stressed that "...with his statements, the Turkish premier places Turkey outside the framework of international legality. His claims ultimately achieve the exact opposite from the intended result...confirming the provocative and aggressive character, which, in violation of any concept of law, characterizes Turkey's, policy. This has its unfavorable repercussions on Ankara."
On his part, main opposition New Democracy party spokesman Aris Spiliotopoulos said that "once again Ankara is showing its true face" through Mr. Ecevit's statements.
Mr. Spiliotopoulos said the international community's demand is for a just and permanent solution to be found based on UN resolutions, adding that the decision by the G8 indicates this, while this is also demanded by the Security Council's latest resolutions.
Source: Athens News Agency