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Cyprus Republic urges Ankara to reopen air corridors
2003-05-06 10:50:26

Nicosia, May 6 (CNA) The government has reiterated a proposal to Turkey to open air corridors used by civil aviation, which Ankara closed arbitrarily after its invasion of the island in the summer of 1974.

Communication and Works Minister Kyriacos Kazamias said the proposal was made during the war against Iraq when Turkey shut down some air corridors used by civil aviation.|

Kazamias noted that Turkey could open the air corridors as a good will gesture within the climate that exists on the island in the past two weeks.

He added that he was also authorized by President Tassos Papadopoulos to ask for the support of EU transport ministers for Cyprus' demand for Turkey to lift its embargo on ships flying the Cyprus flag.

Kazamias said if Turkey continued to refuse entry to Cyprus-registered ships it would mean that 25 per cent of the EU's merchant fleet would not have access to Turkish ports.

''A state which hopes to become an EU member should not forbid entry of ships of a state that belongs to the European family,'' Kazamias said.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.

CNA/ΚΝ/MM/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
06/05/2003

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