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Cyprus calls Turkish military role unfortunate
2007-08-02 09:36:36

Cyprus Government Spokesman Vassilis Palmas described the statements of the Chief of the Turkish General Staff, General Yasar Buyukanit regarding what the President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias has said concerning the Turkish occupation army in Cyprus as “unacceptable and condemnable.” He specifically stated that “the aggressive attitude of the Turkish army and its decisive role in the political life of Turkey and of course the decisive role it unfortunately plays as regards the Cyprus question and the withdrawal of the Turkish troops from the occupied part of Cyprus are being confirmed.”

General Buyukanit had condemned all those who see Turkish armed forces in Cyprus as an occupation force, noting that the Turkish army is in Cyprus “to protect the life and properties” of Turkish Cypriots. Mr. Palmas noted that the things which President Papoulias said and for which the Turkish army has been extremely annoyed are self-evident in the modern society in which we live within the European community and wondered why the Turkish military reacted in such a way.

When whether General Buyukanit had the intention to give a message to Turkey’s political leadership, Mr. Palmas said that “given the fluidity prevailing in the political environment of Turkey, everyone is trying in his own way to show his power and the potentials he has to play a role in this country, something which unfortunately affects also the possibility of creating preconditions for progress in the Cyprus question.”

Moreover, with regards to any development as to meetings between Director of the Diplomatic Office of the President of the Republic Mr. Tasos Tzionis and Mr. Rasit Pertev, advisor to Turkish Cypriot leader Mr. Mehmet Ali Talat, in the framework of the 8 July Agreement, the Spokesman said there was not development and no meeting has been fixed.

Mr. Palmas also stated that “we have sent a letter to Mr. Moller (Special Representative of the UNSG in Cyprus) requesting that the process for the implementation of the 8 July Agreement begins” as a response to the statements of Mr. Hasan Ercakica, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader, who accused the Greek Cypriot side of trying to “minimize” the possibility of a meeting between Talat and Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos in the framework of the 8 July Agreement. He added that “It is up to the other side to outline its position explicitly as regards our political approach concerning this issue”.

Furthermore he noted that both the Greek Cypriot side, the UN Security Council and the international community in general deem that the only concrete step towards the creation of preconditions for progress in the Cyprus question is the 8 July Agreement for which everyone has take a positive position. The Cypriot Spokesman concluded by saying that “We therefore call on the Turkish Cypriot side to respond and honor its signature as regards the 8 July Agreement, reached between the Greek Cypriot side, the Turkish Cypriot side and Mr. Gambari.”

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