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Thursday, 15 January, 1998, 15:41 GMT
Turkish Cypriots say sovereignty is condition for talks

The Turkish Cypriot authorities have said they will return to talks with the Greek Cypriot government only if their part of Cyprus is recognised as a sovereign state.

In an interview with the BBC, the Turkish Cypriot minister for defence and foreign Affairs, Osman Ertug, said the decision had been taken after the European summit in Luxemburg excluded Turkey from a list of countries invited to start membership talks.

He said inter-communal talks with the Greek Cypriot side -- which have been held under United Nations auspices -- no longer provided a way forward.

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus which broke away after the Turkish invasion of 1974 is recognised only by Turkey.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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