Cyprus protests to UN over violations by Turkish military planes
by Apostolis Zoupaniotis
United Nations, Nov 18 (CNA) -- Cyprus’ Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Andreas Mavroyiannis, in a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan strongly protests new violations of the national airspace of the Republic of Cyprus and the Nicosia Flight Information Region (FIR) by Turkish military aircraft.
In his letter, which was circulated as a document of the General Assembly and of the Security Council, Mavroyiannis calls for the immediate cessation of the violations which ''blatantly contravene international law and air traffic regulations and seriously endanger international civil aviation''.
Moreover, he notes that, ''such actions undermine the efforts made for reconciliation and unification in Cyprus and disappointingly reveal Turkey’s lack of good will to achieve progress to this long-standing problem''.
''The Government of Turkey should heed the call of the international community, abide by the Charter of the United Nations and respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus, thus contributing to the creation of the required conditions for the achievement of a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem'', the Ambassador stresses in his letter.
The violations were recorded on 25 and 30 August 2004, on 1, 8, 11, 14, 15, 16, 18 and 29 September 2004, on 5, 6, 7, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26 and 27 October 2004 and on 2 and 3 November 2004.
The violations involve a Black Hawk that took off from the illegal airport of Krini, violating the national airspace of the Republic of Cyprus and a C-160 Turkish military aircraft entering the FIR of Nicosia, violating the international air traffic regulations and the national airspace of Nicosia, flying over the occupied area of Mesaoria, before landing at the illegal airport of Tymbou, from where it departed on the same day, in a reverse direction.
On another occasion a Cougar Turkish military aircraft took off from the illegal airport of Krini, violating the international air traffic regulations and the national airspace of the Republic of Cyprus, flying over the occupied areas of Karpasia, Cape Apostolos Andreas and Mesaoria, before landing at the illegal airport of the Tymbou, from where it returned on the same day to the illegal airport of Krini.
Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.