Turkey slams French-Cypriot military deal

2nd March 2007, Comments 0 comments

ANKARA, March 1, 2007 (AFP) - Turkey denounced on Thursday a military cooperation accord between France and Cyprus, saying it would undermine international efforts to resolve the three-decade Cyprus conflict.

ANKARA, March 1, 2007 (AFP) - Turkey denounced on Thursday a military cooperation accord between France and Cyprus, saying it would undermine international efforts to resolve the three-decade Cyprus conflict.

The foreign ministry described the accord, which was signed in Paris on Wednesday, as "worrying".

It protested that the internationally recognised Greek Cypriot government did not represent the whole island, in whose northern third Turkish Cypriots maintain a breakaway statelet.

"This agreement will further encourage the intransigent stance of the Greek Cypriots and seriously damage efforts for a comprehensive settlement" to end the island's division, the statement said.

"The Greek Cypriot administration... continues to be a source of instability in the region," it said.

The accord will bear no consequences for Turkey and the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognised only by Ankara, it added.

Cyprus has been divided along ethnic lines since 1974 when Turkey occupied the Turkish Cypriot north in response to an Athens-engineered Greek Cypriot coup in Nicosia aimed at uniting the Mediterranean island with Greece.

Cyprus' division remains a major stumbling block for Turkey's bid to join the European Union.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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