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President Papadopoulos says Cherie Blair's actions provocative
2005-12-19 14:09:09

Larnaca, Dec 17 (CNA) - President of the Republic of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos has described as ''provocative'' the fact that Cherie Blair, wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, was involved in the defence of a British couple charged with exploiting Greek Cypriot property in the Turkish occupied areas of the island, noting that this action ''provokes our feelings'' since it has to do with the violation of human rights.

He added that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had already made representations to the British High Commission.

Speaking at Larnaca Airport on his return from Brussels, where he participated in the European Council, President Papadopoulos said he did not raise the matter with Tony Blair.

The President noted that ''despite the fact that Mrs. Blair claimed it was purely a legal case, I think we all understand that for many reasons this move is provocative and it is difficult to separate the fact that she is taking a case that concerns the violation of human rights, the Greek Cypriots' right to property, and she is still the wife of the UK's Prime Minister.''

Replying to questions, President Papadopoulos said the matter would be raised in the context of a dialogue with London, adding that ''the proper course is first to make representations to the High Commissioner, then to the British government and await reactions.''

Earlier on, British High Commission Spokesman Nigel Boud stated that ''Ms Cherie Booth QC is acting in a professional capacity.''

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