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Government: no protest to US with regard to illegal flight
2004-11-09 10:15:04

Nicosia, Nov 9 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government believes that a commercial flight to an illegal airport in the island's Turkish occupied areas does not cause any problems in its ties with the US, as initial press reports have suggested.

Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said Nicosia will not be making any representations to Washington on the matter, nor does it see any purpose in this specific flight.

Press reports have suggested that a US aircraft landed last week at ''Ercan'' illegal airport, near the occupied village of Tymbou, days after US administration officials responsible for safety and security had inspected the airport. The reports came in the wake of Washington's decision to recognise the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) with the name ''Republic of Macedonia'', a move that neither Athens nor Nicosia agree with.

The spokesman said that following an investigation by the authorities of the Republic, last Tuesday a US-registered small aircraft landed at ''Ercan'' on a commercial flight, carrying two businessmen, holders of Turkish passports.

He said the aircraft was not a US state aircraft and flew on behalf of a Polish company, taking the two passengers to occupied Cyprus on business.

''The flight is illegal, just as many other such flights to the occupied areas are, but this is a non issue. We shall not protest to the US,'' the Cypriot Spokesman said.

Responding to questions, he said the government does not think there is any link between US policy on Cyprus and US policy on FYROM.

''Here we have an illegal occupation and US policy is that the product of illegality is not recognised. These are two completely different cases'', Chrysostomides added.

''At this stage, I do not think anybody can come to the conclusion that the US is suggesting to Cyprus to settle its political problem as soon as possible or else face the risk of having the occupied areas of the Republic recognised,'' he said.

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