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Joint Declaration Unofficial Translation April 23, 1998

Upon the invitation of H.E. Süleyman Demirel, President of the Republic of Turkey, H.E. Rauf R.Denktaş, President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, has paid an official visit on 22-24 April 1998.

During this visit, the Presidents of the Republic of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus;

Recalling the Joint Declaration they issued on 20 January 1997;

Reaffirming their desire and determination to develop the relations between Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in all fields, in the context of closest solidarity and cooperation,

Have exchanged views regarding the current situation and the latest developments in Cyprus, and on how to further deepen and develop the relations between Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and have announced the following common views and decisions:

1. To this day, Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus have shown every constructive effort in order to find a peaceful and lasting solution to the Cyprus question. By contrast, the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus, with the encouragement of Greece, has never abandoned its objective of converting Cyprus into a Hellenic island and, by exploiting, in the international arena, the status it has unjustly usurped has undermined all processes and proposals for a solution. With the integration process it has put into practice with the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus in the military, economic and political fields, Greece is blocking efforts for a political solution.

2. By deciding to open accession negotiations with the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus, the EU has disregarded international law and the 1959-60 Agreements on Cyprus, and has dealt a blow to the efforts for a solution. In any event, the accession negotiations that the Greek Cypriot side will conduct in contravention of international law cannot create obligations for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and will not, in any way, affect the rights and obligations of Turkey arising from the 1959-60 Agreements.

3. By opening accession negotiations with the Greek Cypriot administration, acting on behalf of "the whole Cyprus", the EU has demonstrated that it totally ignores the balance between the two peoples in Cyprus and between Turkey and Greece, which have been guaranteed by the Agreements of 1959-60. It has also destroyed the parameters for a solution established during the Cyprus negotiating process. By continuing its mentality and approach of attempting to ascribe minority status to the Turkish Cypriot people, the EU has turned the Luxembourg Summit into a historic mistake.

4. As one of the two co-owners of the island of Cyprus and based on their separate right to self determination, the Turkish Cypriot people became the co-founder partner of the 1960 Republic of Cyprus. After the destruction of this Republic by the Greek Cypriot side in 1963, the Turkish Cypriot people have never recognized the "Cyprus Government" title that the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus had illegally usurped and established their own administration and subsequently their own state through their sovereign will.

5. After the Luxembourg Summit, participation of the Turkish Cypriot side in any negotiation process as a "community", or its taking part in the Greek Cypriot delegation which is conducting accession negotiations with the EU, will amount to the abandonment of its equal political status and sovereignty rights emanating from the 1959-60 Agreements.

6. At the current stage, any negotiation process aimed at finding a solution to the Cyprus question can have a chance of success, only if it is conducted between two sovereign equals. Today, there are two separate equal peoples, states and democratic governments in Cyprus. As long as these realities in Cyprus and the sovereignty rights of the Turkish Cypriot people are not accepted, no lasting solution can be found. The two equal sides must first resolve the fundamental issues between them, and create the conditions of living side by side in the island in peace and stability.

7. Turkey has rights and responsibilities over Cyprus emanating from international agreements. Turkey, in line with its strategic interests, has always been a guarantee for peace and stability in Cyprus and the eastern Mediterranean. The 1960 Treaties of Guarantee and of Alliance will continue to be valid and in force under all circumstances; the erosion of these agreements, either directly or indirectly, will not be allowed. The Turkish-Greek balance established by the 1960 Agreements over Cyprus and in the region will be protected.

8. In line with the above mentioned principles, the parties have declared that they will evaluate and support any constructive efforts for a solution which keep in mind these realities pertaining to Cyprus. Turkey and the TRNC have made it known that they are open to substantive and meaningful negotiations which will be started on these basis.

9. In the context of its "joint military doctrine" with Greece, the Greek Cypriot administration is continuing its heavy and high technology weapons purchases. The activity concerning the deployment of the S-300 missile system in Southern Cyprus is under way. The construction of the Paphos Air force base allocated to Greece's fighter planes has been completed. Those responsible for the escalation of tension in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean are Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration. Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, without departing from a sense of responsibility and reason, are taking the necessary measures in order to protect the balance in Cyprus and the eastern Mediterranean and to render ineffective all policies threatening peace. The parties have already demonstrated their determination in this regard through the Joint Declaration of 20 January 1997, signed between the Presidents of the Republic of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

All steps taken by the Greek Cypriot side and Greece aimed at upsetting the peace and stability in the region will be evaluated on the basis of the threat that they are creating; the use of these developments for bargaining purposes at the political level will not be allowed.

10. The continuation of the existence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as an independent and sovereign state is fundamental. To this end, the ties between Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus will be strengthened and the special relations which have been established in all fields will be deepened within the framework of the Joint Declarations of 20 January 1997 and the Joint Statement of 20 July 1997. In this direction, the work of the Association Council between Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which has been started, will be advanced further.

11. In line with the joint economic area that has been created between the two countries, and in accordance with the conditions of free trade, common economic and financial policies based on the free circulation of goods, services and capital, and the flow of investment, as well as strategies on development and economic expansion, will speedily be put into practice.

12. The parties will continue to expand their joint efforts in order to strengthen the standing of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on the international platform.

13. In the resolve and determination to protect the common interests of both countries, contacts at all levels will be increased and intensified. The President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, H.E. Mr.Rauf Denktaş, has invited H.E. President Süleyman Demirel to pay an official visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The invitation has been accepted.

23 April 1998.