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'Northern Cyprus forgotten in EU'

In a European Parliament debate being held in Strasbourg about the rotating Cypriot presidency of the EU, Liberal Democrat MEP for South West England and Gibraltar and President of the European Liberal Democrat (ELDR) party Sir Graham Watson said:

"Cyprus cannot lead the EU by size or strength, so it must lead by example." 

"It cannot lead by being mortgaged to Moscow."

"It cannot lead by evading talks with Ankara." 

"It cannot lead by overlooking the plight of our fellow citizens behind the barbed wire. I believe that if it brings Europe's influence to bear it can rid its island of that scar from Morphou Bay in the West to Ayia Napa in the East."

"It cannot lead if it ignores the intrigue of corrupt Cypriot lawyers and property developers who rob hopeful holiday home buyers of their retirement savings."

Cyprus took on the presidency of the EU on 1 July, and in the debate MEPs have raised mainly what the presidency should do during its six months at the helm. Graham however chose to turn the spotlight back on Cyprus itself. 

Referring to Gibraltar, which Sir Graham represents in the European Parliament, he said:

"The citizens of Northern Cyprus share with my constituents in Gibraltar the fate of being forgotten people. Both Northern Cypriots and Gibraltarians have been failed by the guardians of the EU treaties too timid to take on tough talkers."

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