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MEPs express support for return of Famagusta
2008-01-31 08:41:17

Brussels, Jan 30 - Members of the European Parliament expressed their support to the lawful inhabitants of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta to return to their hometown.

The MEPs attended an event at the European Parliament in Brussels organized Wednesday by the Famagusta Municipality. The MEPs expressed their support for the return of the fenced off city of Famagusta to its lawful inhabitants, who were forced to flee in 1974 due to the Turkish invasion. They also underlined that Turkey, a country aspiring to become a full EU member state, illegally occupies 37% of the territory of an EU member state, namely the Republic of Cyprus.

Famagusta Mayor Alexis Galanos said that “the return of the town of Famagusta constitutes a European responsibility” adding that “Famagusta, a European town, is occupied by Turkish troops”.

Spanish MEP and member of the EP Petitions Committee, Willy Meyer Pleite, who visited Cyprus last November as part of an EP delegation, said he himself experienced the denial of the Turkish army to the lawful inhabitants to enter their home town.

“I experienced myself the denial of the Turkish army to enter Famagusta when together with other members of the EP delegation we tried to enter the fenced off city but the Turkish occupation army did not allow us to enter”, the Spanish MEP said. Mr. Pleite expressed his support for the struggle of the lawful inhabitants of Famagusta and pledged he would work for their return.

Concluding, he said that the report of the Petitions Committee regarding Famagusta should reflect the provisions of the UN Security Council resolution 550.

The delegation of the Famagusta Municipality held a series of meetings with other MEPs including members of the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Petitions Committee and the Joint Parliamentary EU – Turkey Committee.

Mr. Galanos also participated in the meeting of the ''Union for Europe of the Nations'' Group which was attended by over 200 people, mostly MEPs. The Mayor of Famagusta informed them about the efforts of the people of Famagusta to return to their hometown and added that the Turkish army violates the human rights of the lawful inhabitants of Famagusta.
  
During the Famagusta Municipality’s campaign last April, some 26,000 signatures were obtained for a declaration expressing the determination of the people of Famagusta to struggle for their return to their town.

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