FCO says British offer does not affect sovereignty of SBAs
By Kyriacos Tsioupras--
London, Feb 24 (CNA) -- The UK has agreed to cede part of the Sovereign
Base Areas consisting of 45 square miles, equal to just under half of the total
of the SBA, a Foreign Office and Commonwealth (FCO) Spokesman said
Asked by CNA, the spokesman replied that the offer is included in the third part of the revised Annan plan and will be valid only if both sides (Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot) agree to the UN proposals.
"The UK has agreed to cede part of the SBAs consisting of 45 square miles, equal to just under half of the total SBAs. The offer is included in the third part of the revised Annan plan. The offer, which relates to both SBAs becomes valid only if both sides agree to the UN proposals", the Spokesman said.|
He added "the reason for this offer is that it became clear that territorial adjustments are an important issue. Britain gave urgent consideration to what it could do to help in bridging the remaining gap, to maximise the chance of a settlement".
The areas offered "are mostly farm land and residential. The offer will not have any adverse effect on the function of the SBAs", the spokesman said adding, "British sovereignty over the rest of the areas will not be affected".
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island's territory.
Britain has retained two military bases (Dhekelia and Akrotiri) in Cyprus since 1960 when the island obtained its independence from the British colonial rule.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY