Cyprus government welcomes EP progress Report on Turkey

The Cypriot government expressed its satisfaction with the approval of the Progress Report on Turkey by the European Parliament, and the adoption of the amendment proposed by Cypriot MEPs.

President Nikos Christodoulides has now called on Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership to respond positively to the European Parliament's demands to lift the deadlock for the resumption of negotiations to resolve the Cyprus issue.

In a written statement, Government Spokesperson Konstantinos Letymbiotis stated that the Cypriot Government "expresses its satisfaction with the approval by the European Parliament Plenary of the Progress Report on Turkey and the adoption of the amendment proposed by Cypriot Members of the European Parliament, which includes a paragraph condemning Turkish violations and attacks against peacekeepers in the Pyla area."

He said "we attach special significance to the reference in the European Parliament's resolution, paragraph 33, which calls for the more active involvement of the EU in the effort to lift the deadlock". This approach, the Spokesperson added, constitutes a fundamental and central element of the initiative undertaken by the President of the Republic and can play a decisive role in the efforts to restart negotiations.

It is noted, Letymbiotis noted, that the report reaffirms the European Parliament's support for the efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus issue based on the agreed framework for a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, as defined in the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.

It calls, he said, for the resumption of negotiations from where they left off in Crans Montana and to avoid actions and provocations that lead in the opposite direction, expressing regret for Turkey promoting a two-state solution. Furthermore, he continued, it condemns actions that promote a separatist regime and calls for the withdrawal of Turkish troops and respect for the resolutions of the UN Security Council. It also strongly condemns the fact that Turkey continues to violate UN resolutions 550 and 789 and forcefully calls on Turkey to reverse its illegal and unilateral actions in Varosha.

Letymbiotis also said that the report calls for respect of the buffer zone's status and the peacekeeping Force's mission in Cyprus, while it reminds that similar attacks constitute a crime by international law. It urges Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership to reverse similar one-sided actions and to avoid actions and provocations which do not contribute to the resumption of negotiations.

He said the report further emphasises the need for cooperation in ascertaining the fate of the missing persons, for the protection of cultural heritage, as well as for the educational rights of the enclaved.

Letymbiotis noted that President Christodoulides, "calls on Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership to respond positively to the European Parliament's demands for lifting the deadlock and the resumption of negotiations for the resolution of the Cyprus issue".

Turkey's European course, said the Spokesperson, cannot be restricted to verbal declarations, adding that if Turkey's commitment to this path is genuine, it should implement in practice what it proclaims: Respect of European principles and values, as well as the resolutions and decisions of the European Union and its institutions.

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