The President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Mr. Tiny Kox has opted to hold contacts only in the Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus during his recent visit to the island of Cyprus. The PACE President has overlooked the presence of Members of Parliament of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus at the PACE and displayed a biased approach vis-à-vis the Cyprus issue.

While it is obvious and is an inalienable fact that there exist two separate States and two distinct peoples on the island, each governing itself, treating the Greek Cypriot Administration as the sole legitimate representative on the island is not the right approach. The said approach attributed to the Greek Cypriot Administration by the international community serves the continuation of the status quo on the island. Changing the current status quo depends only on the determined and brave actions of the international community. Among these actions, recognition of the inherent rights of the Turkish Cypriot people, namely recognition of the sovereign equality and equal international status of their State is of first and foremost importance. Any approach contrary to the  realities on the ground and imposing exhausted formula, is not only doomed to fail but would only help the continuation of the Greek Cypriot strategy of playing for time.

Refraining from exchanging views with the Turkish Cypriot people and ignoring their voice is a grave injustice and deficiency especially at this time and age. An exchange on the Cyprus issue cannot be considered comprehensive, if only one of the two sides is given the possibility to express its views. Therefore, PACE President’s visit to the island of Cyprus is deemed incomplete.

It is our expectation that the representatives of the Council of Europe and the international community respect the delicate balance regarding the Cyprus issue and adopt a well- balanced and objective approach.