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MacShane pledges no Cyprus solution against people's will
2005-04-13 13:41:09

Nicosia, Apr 13 (CNA) -- British Minister for Europe Denis MacShane has said his country cannot impose any solution against the will of the people and government of the Republic of Cyprus.

He pledged that his party (Labour) will continue to work for a just and acceptable solution to the longstanding Turkish division and occupation of the island’s northern third.

Replying to a letter handed over to him recently by the UN Cypriot Socialist EDEK party, MacShane said he was glad that Ankara had agreed to sign the protocol document expanding its customs union agreement with the ten new EU member-states, including Cyprus.

“I have consistently said that Ankara should normalise relations with Cyprus, allow normal trade between Cyprus and Turkey and that the level of troops in the island should come down», MacShane said.

He that he has also put down a statement in the House of Commons warning about buying property in the Turkish-occupied northern part of the island.

“I have supported the people of Cyprus since first visiting the island in 1975 and will continue to do so”, he pledged.

MacShane wished EDEK every success and noted that compared to the previous Tory government which did nothing to move forward towards a solution, “the Labour government has sought to work with all progressive forces to find a just and acceptable solution”.

He stressed “we cannot impose any solution against the will of the people and government of the Republic of Cyprus. That is a fundamental position which I will always support”, MacShane concluded.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

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