Turkey fails to invite Cyprus Parliament to PACE Conference and cancels the meeting

House President Demetris Syllouris expressed on Friday the belief that if Turkey had not postponed the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) Conference of Presidents of Parliaments on the pretext of the June elections, the PACE would have done so, as no official invitation was sent to the Cyprus parliament.

Syllouris informed the House Plenary that this year the Conference was scheduled to take place in Ankara, in September, however the Speaker of the Turkish National Assembly informed the PACE President in a letter he sent recently that due to the early elections in Turkey, the Conference could not take place in Ankara. Therefore, he added, PACE and the Turkish National Assembly decided to postpone it.

Syllouris also informed the plenary that the President of the Turkish National Assembly sent in November 2017 invitations to all Presidents of national parliaments of PACE, except to the President of the Cyprus parliament, as Turkey does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus.

He noted that both the Cyprus parliament and Cypriot MP Stella Kyriakides, who was then President of PACE, maintained that unless all heads of parliaments were invited in the same manner, the Conference would not take place. Kyriakides expressed this position as an issue of principle to the members of the Bureau and the Presidential Committee of PACE, Syllouris underlined.

Turkey does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member state since 2004. Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.

Source: Cyprus News Agency