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Finnish MP calls for census in occupied areas
2003-10-30 19:11:46

Nicosia, Oct 30 (CNA) - Finnish MP and former Rapporteur on the illegal colonisation of the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus by Turkish settlers Jaakko Laakso said here Thursday Turkish Cypriots are a minority in their own community and that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash is using the Turkish settlers to influence the result of the December illegal elections.

Speaking after meeting Foreign Minister Georgios Iacovou, Laakso, who is visiting the island, also said that as long as Denktash is leading the Turkish Cypriot community, there are no real prospects for a Cyprus settlement.

Noting that there has been a great change in Cyprus with positive prospects for a solution, Laakso said that as far as the occupied areas are concerned ?there is still a great problem regarding their democratisation. Turkish Cypriots are a minority in their own area, and I have unfortunately noticed that Mr. Denktash uses the Turkish settlers to influence the result of the next elections. Of course, this action is contrary to international law", he said.

Asked about conducting a census in the occupied areas, Laakso said this was "necessary" noting that in the future discussions on the Annan Plan "there should be an agreement for a census. Everyone knows the number of people living in the occupied areas and in the free areas. I think it would be good if we know about the circumstances in which they lived in Turkey and see the reasons they came to live in the occupied areas," he added.

He said Turkey should undertake a commitment that it will not interfere in the internal issues of an independent Cyprus by allowing Turks to live in Cyprus with the incentive that they will be granted the Cypriot citizenship and the right to vote. ''This is an intervention on the part of Turkey in Cyprus' internal matters", he added.

"As long as Mr. Denktash is leading the Turkish Cypriot community, there can be no real prospects for a solution to the Cyprus problem", Laakso said, adding that Denktash rejects the Annan Plan and tries in every way to put obstacles in its implementation.

"If Mr. Denktash wins the next elections, it seems that there will not be no possibility of solving the Cyprus problem based on the Annan Plan", he added.

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