EPP President: Turkey militarily occupies EU territory
Nicosia, Oct 18 -- The fact that the Greek Cypriots rejected the UN envisaged plan for a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem, does not mean that Turkey has been pardoned from its continued military occupation of Cypriot territory, or as of last May 2004, European Union territory, according to the President of the European People's Party, Wilfried Martens.
The EPP President, who is visiting the island at the invitation of opposition DISY President Nicos Anastasiades, specifically said:
''Cypriots can rest assured that DISY, a prominent and reliable partner of the most influential political family of Europe, has our unwavering support in achieving a just, viable and European settlement of the Cyprus problem. The fact that the referendum failed, does not mean that Turkey has been pardoned from its continued military occupation of Cypriot territory, or, as of last May 2004, EU territory."
The Cyprus Government expressed satisfaction over the European official's statements, with Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides noting that the EU must take a more active and positive role in efforts for a Cyprus settlement on the basis of UN resolutions and European principles.
''The negative stance towards our side has changed and we proceed towards a positive approach of the problems for the resumption of the procedure for a final settlement of the Cyprus problem on the basis of European principles,'' he added.
On another statement by Mr. Martens that Turkey has to implement the Protocol of her Customs Union with Cyprus, the Spokesman noted that this is an answer to the Turkish negative stance, so far.
''The presence of Mr. Martens in Cyprus has been particularly important, it really indicates the policy the EPP will follow in Europe and we will express our appreciation to Mr. Martens for these positions,'' Mr. Chrysostomides added.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. A solution plan proposed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was rejected by the majority of the Greek Cypriot community in April 2004, as it felt the plan did not meet its basic concerns.