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    PACE urges Greek Cypriots to lift objections on Turkish side

    HotNewsTurkey with wires
    01.10.2008 - 13:46 | Son Güncelleme:

    The general assembly of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) approved Wednesday a report calling on Greek Cypriots to lift objections to free direct trade between Turkish Cypriots and the EU through the ports in the northern part of the island.

    A report, prepared by German parliamentarian Joachim Horster, titled "The Situation in Cyprus" and a related resolution were debated at the general assembly and adopted.

    The report was adopted with 99 'yes' votes to 20 'no'.

    According to the adopted resolution, the Greek Cypriot authorities have been called to lift objections to the implementation of the European Commission’s Direct Trade Regulation allowing free direct trade between Turkish Cypriots and the EU through the ports in the northern part of the island.

    The resolution also called on Greek Cypriots not to oppose increased international contacts of Turkish Cypriots in the areas of culture, education, sport and youth exchanges, insofar as these contacts are not misused for political purposes or incompatible with the reunification of the island.

    The opportunity for a solution in Cyprus should not be missed, the resolution added referring to the new negotiations process in Cyprus.


    Europe’s top human rights watchdog can do more to help end the economic and political isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community, the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat said ahead of the voting.


    Talat told European lawmakers the 47-nation Council of Europe can put more pressure on Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias "to lift all restrictions" on the community in northern Cyprus.


    Measures to ease the economic isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community have been held up for years by Greek Cypriot officials.


    Talat said the problem stemmed from what he perceived to be a failure by Greek Cypriot leaders to view their Turkish counterparts as equals. "We want to establish a new partnership state in Cyprus ... composed of two constituent states of equal status," he was quoted by the AP as saying.


    He urged the lawmakers at the council’s parliamentary assembly to adopt a resolution that includes support for a Turkish plan allowing ports to open in the northern Turkish Cypriot controlled part of the island.


    One of the most serious isolations has to do with the inability of the Turkish Cypriots to express their political views in the international arena, Talat added.


    Talat said one of the problems in the island is related to the Greek Cypriots' unwillingness to share sovereignty.


    The Turkish Cypriots want a solution based on a bi-communal and politically equal model with two equal states taken under guarantee, he said.


    "We stand on our feet at a time of isolations, only through the support Turkey extends," he also said. Had it not been for Turkey's support, there would remain no Turkish Cypriot on the island, the Anatolian Agency quoted him as saying.


    Talat and Christofias are currently holding reunification talks on the ethnically divided Mediterranean island, which has been divided since 1964 when Turkish Cypriots were forced to withdraw into enclaves.


    Photo: Reuters



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