February 26, 1999

The Government of the Republic of Cyprus regrets Turkey's attempt to involve Cyprus in the Ocalan affair by making accusations that Cyprus harbours Kurdish military training camps. The Republic of Cyprus is a free and democratic country and anyone who wishes, including the United Nations Force stationed in Cyprus and the Diplomatic Missions, can verify that Turkey's accusations are false and unfounded.

As regards the Turkish claims concerning the Cypriot passport allegedly found in the possession of Abdullah Ocalan, the Cypriot competent authorities, under the instructions of the Attorney-General of the Republic, have investigated the matter. The Attorney-General concluded that the passport was forged.

The Turkish Government seconded by the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr. Denktash, in order to exploit the Ocalan affair for internal purposes and to provide a smokescreen for its dismal human rights record and the continuing occupation of Cyprus is pursuing a policy of propaganda and defamation against the Republic of Cyprus.

The Republic of Cyprus, strictly abides by all international human rights agreements, including the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other relevant instruments, the European Convention of Human Rights as well as the Helsinki Final Act. Cyprus fully agrees with the Declaration of the European Union of 22nd February 1999 on the Ocalan issue and would like to stress once more its commitment to work closely with all states in achieving full respect of human rights and compliance with international law for all, including the Kurdish people.

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