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Property ownership in occupied Cyprus integral part of a solution
2005-11-30 12:00:55

London, Nov 30 – British Minister for Europe Douglas Alexander has said that complex issues surrounding the question of property ownership in the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus remain an integral part of a comprehensive settlement.

The position was outlined in a written reply to a letter by British MP Andrew Dismore, in which he asked the assessment of the Secretary of State of Turkish Cypriot proposals to protect the environment and provide sustainability by directives controlling building in the occupied north of Cyprus, with particular reference to protecting Greek Cypriot-owned land from development.

In his reply, Mr. Alexander also said that neither he nor Mr. Jack Straw have seen detailed proposals by the Turkish Cypriots to control building in the occupied areas Cyprus.

The British minister said “we welcome any measures that will help to tackle the problem of environmental degradation. Effective protection of the environment in north Cyprus is in the interests of both communities and we strongly support action in this area”, he said.

However, he added, “the complex issues surrounding the question of property ownership in Cyprus remain an integral part of a comprehensive settlement and can only be fully addressed in this context. This government remains committed to pursuing such a settlement with both communities”, Mr. Alexander concluded.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island’s northern third.

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