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Cyprus continues representations regarding Cherie Blair's actions
2005-12-19 14:17:11

Nicosia, Dec 19 (CNA) -- Cyprus Foreign Ministry's Permanent Secretary Sotos Zackheos has expressed to Britain's Charge d’ Affaires to Nicosia Robert Fenn the discontent of the government of Cyprus and the Greek Cypriot displaced people regarding the decision of British Prime Minister’s spouse Cherie Blair to defend at Court a British couple charged with exploiting Greek Cypriot property in the Turkish occupied areas of the island.

According to an official press release, Zackheos, who met today with Fenn, noted that more sensitivity should have been shown as regards the assumption of the case by Mrs Blair, bearing in mind that most people exploiting Greek Cypriot property are British.

He added that Mrs Blair’s action is provocative to the feelings of the Greek Cypriot refugees and the Cypriots living in Britain.

Fenn told Zackheos that Mrs Blair is a lawyer, acting in her professional capacity, and added that the British government has no involvement in the case and therefore no political motives should be attributed.

Zackheos told Fenn that the case leads to “associations as regards the stance of the British government in issues regarding the restoration and protection of human rights in Cyprus, including the property right” and stressed that this action “opposes recent efforts by both governments to restore and improve their bilateral relations”.

According to the press release, Cypriot High Commissioner to London Petros Eftyhiou has been given instructions to make all necessary representations to the British government.

Meanwhile Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides has said that Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos will raise the issue in the framework of the Cyprus – Britain structured dialogue.

He reiterated that this action is deemed by the government as provocative towards the feelings of the Greek Cypriot displaced persons, noting that ''it is not a completely personal issue, it is an issue that concerns the state, the Republic of Cyprus, but also one of the main aspects in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem”.

''It is not possible for Britain, a country which is one of the Cyprus Republic’s guarantor powers, to deem that the actions by Mrs Blair can easily be dissociated from the political situation here”, he said.

Chrysostomides concluded by saying that he is not aware and cannot confirm the information that Mrs Blair visited the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus.

Invited by CNA to comment on Mrs Blair’s involvement in the case, a Spokesperson for the British Prime Minister’s Office said that Mrs Blair is acting in her professional capacity and therefore the Office can not comment on this.

''This is an issue that concerns the law Office that employs Mrs Blair” the Spokesperson said.

The Matrix Law Office refrained from answering to questions regarding the matter, referring to the Solicitors of the case, who is the Turkish Cypriot Vahib and Co.

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