A delegation from the TRNC assembly is in Brussels to try and counter Greek Cypriot MEP’s attempts to have the issue of Direct Trade Regulation removed from the EU agenda, Deputy for the National Unity Party (UBP) Ertugrul Hasipoglu has said.
“We know that it will not be easy because there are Greek Cypriot deputies who have usurped our seats in the European Parliament”, he said in a written statement, adding that the Turkish Cypriot delegation would be meeting with political party groups and ask for their support during the crucial voting to be held today, 10 October.
“Furthermore, we will be holding some contacts with new MEPs in Brussels who have a prejudiced stance on other developments on the Cyprus problem and especially on the issue of fenced-off Varosha/Marash”, he said, adding that after finding out about the Democratic Rally Party’s (DISI) statement that it would hold contacts aiming at the withdrawal of the Direct Trade Regulation from the agenda, he thought that “serious problems” would exist not only on the issue of finding a solution, but also for confidence building measures with a community which has such a mentality.
The direct trade regulation issue dates back to April 2004, when the European Union wanted to reward the Turkish Cypriots for voting by 65 percent in favour of a referendum on the Annan Plan to reunify the island. At the same time, 76 percent of Greek Cypriots voted against the plan, even though it was backed by the United Nations, the US, Turkey and the European Union itself. Since then the Turkish Cypriots have been denied the opportunity to trade freely and develop their economy.
Halkin Sesi, Ekathimerini