South Australian Premier demands justice for Cyprus
Nicosia, Mar 22 (CNA) -- South Australian Prime Minister Mike Rann has pledged he will continue to stand by the side of the democratically-elected Government of the Republic of Cyprus and that he will not resile from the policy stance he has taken in seeking justice for Cyprus and a peaceful end to the illegal 30-year Turkish occupation of the northern third of the island.
A news release issued by Rann's office said the South Australian premier, who met in Adelaide with Cyprus House of Representatives President Demetris Christofias, also noted that his government ''is supporting 15 cases of dispossessed Cypriot South Australians to pursue restitution and compensation against Turkey through the European Court of Human Rights, at a cost of $21 000.''
“We are the only Government in the world outside of Cyprus that has had the guts to support court actions against the Turkish government,'' Ran said, adding that ''the support for these South Australian claims is based on an established case heard in that court (Loizidou vs Turkey).''
“We need a just solution to the 1974 invasion and illegal occupation of Cyprus by some 40,000 Turkish troops and more than 100,000 Turkish settlers,'' Rann said.
“I told Mr Christofias that my government is honouring my pre-election pledge to assist South Australian Cypriots to seek justice through the European Court of Human Rights,'' he added.
Ran said he was hopeful ''that future round of negotiations will reach a more just, lasting and peaceful resolution to this decades-old problem.”
The South Australian Prime Minister, who has been for years patron of the Justice for Cyprus Committee, also congratulated the Republic of Cyprus on its formal entry as a full European Union member in May last year.
A Cyprus House press release said Christofias briefed Rann on the current phase of the Cyprus issue and elaborated on the reasons that led the Greek Cypriots to reject the UN plan for a Cyprus settlement last April.
He also noted the need for substantive changes to the Annan plan, so that it can be accepted by the Greek Cypriots.
Christofias thanked Rann for the steadfast support to Cyprus and especially for the decision to offer financial aid to many Greek Cypriot families that want to file a case against Turkey before the European Court of Human Rights.
Christofias also met with local opposition leader Rob Kerin, President of the Legislative Council Rob Roberts and many members of the parliament and senators.
He briefed them on the Cyprus question, outlining the positions of the Greek Cypriot side.
Christofias left today Adelaide for Perth, where he will hold meetings with government officials and address a gathering of the Cyprus community there.
He will return to Cyprus tomorrow.