Turkish PACE president commits to Cyprus solution

10:42, November 02, 2010      

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Turkey's Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) President Mevlut Cavusoglu committed himself on Monday to a solution of the Cyprus problem in line with the PACE values and principles.

"This solution should guarantee the legitimate rights of both Greek and Turkish Cypriots," Cavusoglu said after a day of talks with leaders of the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot controlled government of Cyprus.

Turkish troops landed on the northern part of Cyprus in 1974, in response to a short-lived coup by Greek army officers. Ankara does not recognize the Cyprus government and refers to it as the Greek Cypriot administration.

Cavusoglu, a Turkish parliamentarian and a high-ranking official from the governing party, is in Cyprus on a three-day official visit on an invitation by Speaker of Cyprus Parliament Marios Karoyian.

Cyprus is represented in the PACE by four Greek Cypriot parliamentarians, with two Turkish Cypriots having observer status.

Cavusoglu told reporters after talks with Karoyian that the PACE extends its support to the ongoing negotiating process between the leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities aimed at reuniting the eastern Mediterranean island.

"This is the message I am going to convey to the northern part of the island," he said in reference to the breakaway Turkish Cypriot enclave, recognized only by Turkey.

"PACE welcomes the renewed political process which started in 2008, which has already brought about encouraging results," Cavusoglu said.

Cyprus President Demetris Christofias, a Greek Cypriot, and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu on Monday continued their negotiations in the UN-controlled buffer zone.

The talks have stalled on the issue of the future of Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied part of Cyprus, which were abandoned by their owners in the wake of the Turkish military intervention.

The stalemate has led United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon to issue an invitation to Christofias and Eroglu to meet him in New York on Nov. 18.

Cavusoglu crossed into the Turkish part of the capital Nicosia late Monday afternoon to meet Turkish Cypriot leaders.

He will return to the Greek Cypriot part of the capital on Tuesday after chairing a joint meeting of Greek Orthodox Church leaders and religious leaders of the Turkish Cypriot Muslim community in the buffer zone.

Source: Xinhua


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