Turk Cypriots: Turkish Army to stay until peace deal

Turkish troops will stay in northern Cyprus until a "just and lasting peace" has been achieved on the divided island, Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat said Wednesday.

Turk Cypriots: Turkish Army to stay until peace deal
Turkish forces inTurkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, or TRNC, have been deployed in line with international agreements, Talat said.

"They will continue to conduct their mission until a just and lasting peace has been achieved."

Talat was speaking at a meeting with visiting Turkish army chief, General Yasar Buyukanit, just days after he and newly elected Cyprus President Demetris Christofias agreed to relaunch peace negotiations stalled since 2004.

Talat said the influential Turkish military supports us on the issues we are working on, together with the Turkish government.

Buyukanit said: "The Turkish soldiers are here for the security of the Turkish Cypriots. They have ensured their security and will continue to do so."

Turkey, the only country to recognize the TRNC, maintains about 40,000 troops in the north of the island.

A U.N. reunification plan was overwhelmingly approved by Turkish Cypriot voters in 2004 but rejected by Greek Cypriots in a simultaneous referendum.

Agencies
Last Mod: 26 Mart 2008, 18:12
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