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Defence Minister: Cyprus government decision was right
2005-11-29 11:36:30

Nicosia, Nov 29 – Any intervention by the Turkish occupation army within the buffer zone constitutes in substance a change of the status quo, Defence Minister Kyriacos Mavronicolas said on Tuesday.

In statements after visiting the post at Ledra Street, in Nicosia, Mr. Mavronicolas said that the occupation army has proceeded with demolitions and the construction of a bridge and even more, its expansion within the buffer zone.

“The government and the President of the Republic’s decision to withdraw their consent to the opening of the crossing since the occupation army seems to be intervening within the buffer zone was very right”, said the Defence Minister, since the occupation army is intervening within the buffer zone, on the pretext of opening crossing and trying to take advantage of half the buffer zone.

Mr. Mavronicolas reminded that “our positions are clear, the ceasefire line of 1974 is Ermou Street. The buffer zone has been granted by the Republic of Cyprus, the official authorities of the state, so that the UN can control the distance between the buffer zone and the two armies, the National Guard and the occupation army. Therefore, any interference by the occupation army within the buffer zone is a substantial change of the status quo”.

He said the government made strong representations to the UN, noting that ''despite our views and positions, it seems that even today the work continues in the buffer zone''.

''We are demanding, and I think it is logical, that with the opening of crossings the opportunity should not be given to either side to intervene within the buffer zone'', he added.

Invited to comment on statements by so called prime minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer that the work will continue and be completed, Mavroyiannis said that ''this increases the intransigence of the occupation army and the illegal leadership''.

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