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EU does not recognise illegal airport in occupied Cyprus
2005-02-18 11:25:16

Larnaca, Feb 18 (CNA) --

The European Union does not acknowledge the existence of the illegal airport in northern Turkish occupied Cyprus and deals only with the southern government-controlled part of the island, the head of the Commission Representation here Adriaan van der Meer has said.

He also said that the amended EU Green Line regulation on trade between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides will come into force on Sunday and expressed hope that this would help increase commercial deals among the business community.

''The airport (Ercan) does not exist for us, so we stick here at the government controlled areas,'' Ambassador van ber Meer said, responding to questions about the operation of this airport, at the launch of a Europe-wide campaign to inform air passengers about their rights.

The launch of the campaign coincided with an illegal visit to Ercan airport by a group of Turkish businessmen, representing US interests in Turkey. They arrived in Cyprus through an illegal port of entry and were accompanied by the US embassy commercial attache in Ankara, a move that was condemned by the Cypriot political leadership as ''unacceptable and contrary to international law.''

Responding to questions, van der Meer said that the amended Green Line regulation, adopted yesterday by the EU Council of ministers, would help create a new momentum and give new incentives to the business community on both sides.

The Council approved Thursday new proposals put forward by the government to facilitate trade across the Green Line, dividing the country, including an increase in the ceiling of the value of goods a person can buy and carry across the Line.

On the campaign for the rights of air passengers, he said this was an important move as it would improve services and offer, among other things, compensation for cancelled flights and other benefits for delays.

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