Government comments on US, British positions
Nicosia, Feb 8 (CNA) -- Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides pointed out today that international law and order and aviation regulations define the rules for the use of ports and airports in Turkish occupied Cyprus.
He also said that British attempts to bring back for approval a European Union regulation on direct trade between the occupied north and the EU are not based on an objective evaluation of all the circumstances regarding this issue.
His comments come in response to remarks by US Secretary of State that Washington is trying to ease the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots and reports that Britain wants to reintroduce the direct trade regulation, which so far has not been approved by the Commission.
''Turkish Cypriots are isolated because of Turkey's policy in occupied Cyprus, the adoption of economic indexes and of Turkey's legal tender and the fact that up until recently Turkish Cypriots were prevented to visit the southern government controlled part of the island and trade with the Greek Cypriots,'' Chrysostomides said.
Responding to questions, he said British attempts to reintroduce the direct trade regulation ''are not founded on an objective assessment of the situation.''
''We oppose this policy, we do not agree with that,'' he added.
He pointed out that the government is in favour of efforts for the economic development of the Turkish Cypriots relating to another EU regulation, the Green Line regulation.
The government, he said, does not oppose the allocation of EU aid amounting to 259 million euro to the Turkish Cypriot and has already given its consent to that.
The spokesman explained that these two regulations (direct trade and financial assistance) have been linked by Mehmet Ali Talat, Turkish Cypriot self-styled prime minister, who insists on their joint application.
Asked to comment on a three-day meeting on Cyprus, organized by the British Foreign Office, he said he was ''somewhat surprised that it is taking place behind closed doors and off the record and yet journalists participating in the meeting can talk to delegates in private on the record.''
He said the government had all the necessary information about the meeting well in advance, adding that he knows neither the objective nor the outcome of the meeting.
''The conference covers issues that worry our side with regard to the solution of the Cyprus problem,'' he added.
About 140 participants from Cyprus, England and Europe began today their deliberations on various issues, including the main concerns of the island's two communities, the latest trends in public opinion, the impact of Cyprus' accession to the EU and prospects for a settlement.