NICOSIA, (AFP) - The breakaway Turkish state on Cyprus blasted Thursday a military cooperation accord between the internationally-recognised Greek Cypriot government and Armenia as harmful to the Cyprus peace process.
The cooperation pact was signed during a visit by Armenian Defence Minister Serge Sarkisian to Greek Cyprus on February 20-25, the foreign and defence ministry of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said in a written statement.
"We strongly condemn the hostile attitude of the Greek Cypriot leadership and urge all parties following the (Cyprus) peace talks to accordingly evaluate this unfortunate development," the ministry said.
Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, whose Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is recognised only by Ankara, and his Greek Cypriot counterpart Glafcos Clerides began face-to-face talks in mid-January in a bid to re-unite the island.
They completed the first stage of the meetings on February 19 and are expected to resume the talks on Friday.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey seized its northern third in response to an Athens-engineered coup in Nicosia seeking to join Cyprus to Greece. Turkey, which keeps a strong military presence in northern Cyprus, has sour relations with Armenia for historical reasons, because of Yerevan's campaign to gain international recognition of the 1915 massacres of Armenians under the Turkish Ottoman empire as genocide.