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National Council discusses measures for Turkish Cypriots
2003-08-01 15:05:31

Nicosia, Jul 31 (CNA) -- The National Council (advisory body to the President on the Cyprus problem) examined here Thursday the government's measures to support Turkish Cypriots, their implementation and the obstacles faced.

Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said after the meeting, which was chaired by President Tassos Papadopoulos, that political leaders expressed their views and exchanged ideas and suggestions regarding the implementation of the measures.|

Asked if the issue of the demining of the Nicosia area was raised during the meeting, the Spokesman said "yes, surely the demining issue is part of the measures proposed by the government on 30th April".

The Spokesman said there was no specific proposal at present to announce any further measures.

"There is a discussion on their implementation and the obstacles faced, as well as ways to overcome these obstacles", he added.

Invited to comment on the strong reaction by Greek Cypriot farmers' organisations to the decision for the purchase of 1,500 tones of grain from Turkish Cypriot farmers, Chrysostomides said the "purchase was made by the Grains' Commission".

He stated it was an indication of the good will of the Greek Cypriot's side towards the Turkish Cypriots, noting that the issue will be discussed at the level of farmers' organisations and government officials.

The Spokesman added there are still problems regarding the movement of goods from the occupied areas. He said there are issues, which need to be addressed to such as internal legislation of the Republic of Cyprus, for instance the VAT issue.

"There are still many difficulties. The government's effort is to find solutions so that it will be able to promote trade transactions between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots", the Spokesman said.

The European Union, he added, positively views the government's measures for the Turkish Cypriots and is aware of the obstacles.

He also said the Justice and Public Order Ministry periodically submits a report on the measures to the government, and based on this report the discussion was held today at the National Council.

The measures aim at providing those Turkish Cypriots who live in the occupied areas the ability to enjoy the rights and benefits, which the Republic of Cyprus grants to its citizens without discrimination.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island's territory.

CNA/MK/EC/GP/2003

ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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