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Turkish Chief Negotiator for EU: Turkey does not plan to withdraw troops from Cyprus

11 February 2010 [13:23] - TODAY.AZ
Turkish State Minister & Chief Negotiator for EU talks Egemen Bagis said on Wednesday that it was not possible for Turkey to accept the sections regarding Cyprus in Turkey report of European Parliament.
"Turkey does not have a plan or opinion to withdraw troops from the island," Bagis said while commenting on the EP report prior to his meeting with Atlantic Council President Frederick Kempe in Ankara.

Bagis said this was not the first report accepted by the EP about Turkey, noting that the reports were sometimes more balanced and sometimes imbalanced.

Bagis said this year's report lost its impartiality after some motions for amendment.

Bagis said following the talks they had in Brussels last week, he had the impression that this report should not be taken so seriously, noting "because the report reflected searches for a compromise among the political groups in the parliament rather than the facts in Turkey".

Bagis said it was not only Turkey which has troops in the island, indicating that if the other countries and international organizations believe that their troops contributed to an environment preventing bloodshed, Turkish troops also assume roles to restore peace and stability on the island.

"Turkish troops in the island assume a very important task to restore peace there. EU process is important for Turkey, however, it is not so important to sacrifice Cyprus. Cyprus is a national cause for all of us," he noted.

Bagis said Turkey supported ongoing solution process in Cyprus.

European lawmakers on Wednesday endorsed a resolution that called on Turkey to withdraw its troops from Cyprus.

The resolution, penned by Dutch parliamentarian Ria Oomen-Ruijten on Turkey's progress report 2009, was approved by a large majority of the members of the European Parliament.

The MEPs urged Turkey "to begin prompt withdrawal of troops from Cyprus, and resolve the issue of Turkish citizens settled in the island as well as allow Greek Cypriot access to Maras." (AY)

/Trend News/

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