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Cyprus supports cooperation on avian influenza with Turkey
2005-10-24 12:13:44

Nicosia, Oct 21 (CNA) - The Cyprus government said a wider regional cooperation and coordination of action between the governments of Cyprus and Turkey in an effort to handle avian influenza (bird flu) would be a very good start in normalising relations between the two countries.

Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said the fact that there is a ceasefire line in Cyprus should not prevent taking such measures.

In a statement, which he read to reporters at the end of today's cabinet meeting, the Spokesman said the government understands the need to take all measures to prevent the outbreak of avian influenza in Cyprus.

''The current situation in Cyprus derives from the existence of a ceasefire line that should not prevent, as far as the Cyprus government is concerned, taking such measures,'' Chrysostomides said.

The authorities of the Republic, he continued, ''are already acting in such a way to allow the cooperation that is required in taking such measures, with those in the occupied part of Cyprus that can contribute to preventing an outbreak of the virus.''

''The government believes that the cooperation is satisfactory,'' he said, adding it should not be interpreted that the cooperation affects the political and legal reality of the area of the Republic of Cyprus which is not under the effective control of the government of the Republic but is under an illegal military cooperation and full political-military control of Turkey,'' Chrysostomides said.

''The administration there functions illegally and is only a subordinate administration of the occupying force, as it has been ascertained by the European Court of Human Rights and Security Council Resolutions 541 and 550 which continue to be in effect and commit everyone that this secessionist entity is illegal and no state should help or facilitate it,'' he added.

''Within this framework,'' he said, ''the primary concern of the government of Cyprus is to protect the health of all Cypriot citizens, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, and all those who are in the Republic of Cyprus and for this reason, it is doing everything that is humanly possible.''

At the same time, the Spokesman added, ''the Cyprus government is fully participating in the pan-European mobilisation to prevent the outbreak of the virus.''

Within this framework, he said, ''the Turkish government is called on to rise to the circumstances and to give the proper direction to the Turkish authorities for the relevant services of the two countries to cooperate and coordinate their actions, as imposed by the European political culture of good neighbourliness and normal relations.''

He expressed the hope that ''Turkey will realise that due to the nature of the danger and way the virus is spread, it must cooperate with the Republic of Cyprus to avert an outbreak of the virus, for the benefit of the health and safety of all its citizens, all European citizens and those citizens of neighbouring countries.''

''The Cyprus government,'' Chrysostomides said, ''expects the presidency of the EU and the Commission to offer their good services to achieve a wider regional cooperation and coordination of action between the governments of Cyprus and Turkey.''

This, he continued, would be ''a good start in normalising relations between Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus, as it is clearly outlined both in the statement of the 25 (EU) on 21st September and in the recently approved Negotiating Framework, to handle such serious dangers to our citizens.''

Replying to questions, the Spokesman said the cooperation could take place in the field of Veterinary Services, registering the paths that migratory birds follow and exchange of information and experience so that there is a common handling of the virus.

The informal cooperation with the Turkish occupied areas of the Republic, he added, is done through UNFICYP and experts.

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