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Turkish Cypriot side concerned over hiring of 3,000 soldiers by RoC

Army recruitment poster in central Nicosia (Philip Mark)

The Turkish Cypriot side is concerned by the Republic’s decision to recruit 3,000 professional soldiers, it was reported on Friday.

An announcement of the foreign affairs ‘ministry’ of the breakaway regime said that it finds it difficult to understand why the Greek Cypriot side is increasing its military power, which can cause tension, while negotiations to find a solution to the Cyprus problem are continuing intensively.

The decision for the recruitment of 3,000 professional soldiers while there are negotiations about “the continuation of the effective and de facto guarantee of Turkey”, it said, and the fact that “there will be no army in the new administration as a result of the equality of the two communities, makes the Turkish Cypriot side raise questions whether the Greek Cypriot interlocutor believes in a solution and its sincerity,” the announcement said.

This decision, it said, is not in line with the statements of the two leaders in reaching a settlement agreement within 2016.

It also calls on the Greek Cypriot side to avoid those measures which will affect negatively the settlement talks.

Hiring 3,000 soldiers is directly linked to the reduction of military service for conscripts to 14 months and authorities also hope it will be an incentive for unemployed young men to stay in Cyprus rather than emigrating. The applications procedure began last week and ends on June 24.

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