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Cypriot FM: Illegal regime’s proposal on exports an election firework
2005-01-07 10:22:43

Larnaca, Jan 7 (CNA) -- Cyprus’ Foreign Minister George Iacovou has described as a “pre-election firework” a proposal by so called prime minister in the Turkish-occupied areas Mehmet Ali Talat for the export of Greek Cypriot products through the illegal ports in the occupied areas to Turkey.

Speaking before leaving for Brussels to attend an EU ministerial meeting on the south-east Asia disaster, Iacovou said that with “Turkey having so many problems and Mr. Talat facing elections, he decided to set off another firework”, advising Greek Cypriot exporters to export their products via the Green Line and the illegal ports in occupied cyprus to Turkey”.

The illegal regime in the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus is scheduled to hold ''elections'' next month.

Iacovou recalled that the occupied ports are closed following a decision of the legitimate government of the Republic of Cyprus and therefore those ports are non-existent. He described Talat’s action as provocative noting it has no connection whatsoever with the Green Line Regulation, the 886 EU Regulation or any other regulation that talks about direct trade. “He is talking about the free areas’ exports”, the minister said.

Noting the issue is completely illegal and unfounded, Iacovou said that Talat’s statements were made for solely pre-election purposes. “Our reply (to Talat) is our proposal to open the port of Famagusta (in the occupied areas) or to use Larnaca port (in the free areas) for exporting Turkish Cypriot products”, he said.

Sooner or later, Turkey will sign the protocol to adjust its customs union with the EU and will open its ports for Cyprus maritime and for ships that originate from Cyprus ports, Iacovou added.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

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