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Cyprus President says Turkish Cypriots' ''isolation'' a myth
2006-10-03 11:03:44

Nicosia, Sep 29 - Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos described as a myth motivated by political interests that the Turkish Cypriots are subject to ''embargoes'' or ''economic isolation''.

Receiving the credentials of new Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the Republic of Cyprus, stationed in Tripoli, Do Ba Khoa, President Papadopoulos stressed that the Cypriot government effectively supports the economic development of the Turkish Cypriots within international legitimacy and EU laws and to that end it has taken several practical measures, including supporting EU financial assistance to the Turkish Cypriots, as well as trade via the Green Line and also through the legal ports of entry of the Republic.

He also said the government provides Turkish Cypriots with free medical and pharmaceutical care and other social benefits while the number of Turkish Cypriots working in the government-controlled areas has increased twofold in the past few years.

The annual per capita income of the Turkish Cypriot community has reached the unprecedented level of 11,000 US Dollars, having doubled in a period of just two years. ''It is, therefore, a myth motivated by political interests, that the Turkish Cypriots are subject to embargoes or economic isolation,'' the President stressed.

Presenting his credentials, Ambassador Do Ba Khoa said Vietnam highly appreciates the efforts and patience of the Cypriot government in the peaceful reunification of the country and defense of the national sovereignty.

''Vietnam always understands and strongly supports the legitimacy of the Republic of Cyprus, the national independence, reunification and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus,'' said the Ambassador.

He also added that ''Vietnam hopes that pending issues in the Cypriot reunification process will be settled through peaceful means, on the basis of legitimate interests of the Cypriot people, respect of national independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus and in conformity with the basic principles of international laws as well as with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations.''

President Papadopoulos stressed that Cyprus supports Turkey's accession course to the European Union, provided, and this is a non-negotiable provision, that Turkey complies with all the obligations that it has undertaken and that Turkey adopts the EU principles and standards that would transform Ankara's attitude towards Cyprus, an attitude that would put an end to its expansionist policies.

A first step towards this transformation, which has been demanded by the European Union in several of its decisions, would be for Turkey to proceed without further delay with the implementation of the Protocol to the Ankara Agreement, the opening of its ports and airports to Cypriot vessels, the termination of its blocking of my country's participation in several international and regional organisations and the normalisation of its relations with Cyprus, the President said.

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