Tuesday 26th of February 2008 08:40:26 AM  GMT+2 

Turkish Cypriots salute Kosovo independence

The New Anatolian / Nicosia
18 February 2008

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President Mehmet Ali Talat of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said Monday he salutes independence of Kosovo on behalf of Turkish Cypriot people, adding that the will of people of Kosovo should be respected and the new state should be assisted.

This was in stark contrast to the Greek Cypriots who vehemently oppose independent Kosovo claiming it will set a precedent for Turkish Cypriot independence.

"I hope that Kosovo's independence will have a positive influence on security and cooperation in the Balkans, which is of utmost importance for the stability of the world," Talat said in his message on Kosovo's declaration of independence.

"I ask that those, who object to the independence of Kosovo, take into consideration that no people can be forced to live under the rule of another people, and make the necessary contribution so that the problems that may arise can be solved through cooperation," he stated.

"With the knowledge that many countries will recognize the independence of Kosovo, I hope that especially the European Union will act with a high conception of its responsibilities. With the belief that the European Union will not repeat the mistakes, which we still suffer from in the Cyprus problem, I'd like to express that making use of enlargement as an instrument to solve this difficult and complex problem would be very appropriate," he said.

"I salute the success of the Kosovo leadership, which, through policies that won the sympathy and support of the world in the process leading to independence, gained an international respectability. On behalf of the Turkish Cypriot people, who have preserved their identity, went through a lot of pain to live in freedom and who are still continuing with their struggle, I sincerely congratulate Kosovo and the people of Kosovo and wish that Kosovo's membership in the world's family of nations contributes to humanity and world peace," Talat added.

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