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Turkey's stance against Cypriot ships contrary to European law
2006-03-07 14:03:48

Nicosia, Mar 5 (CNA) -- Turkey's refusal to permit ships flying the Cyprus flag to enter its ports is contrary to international and European rules, Germany's Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee has said, adding that his country will back efforts to lift the restrictive measures applied by Ankara against Cypriot ships.

According to an official press release, Tiefensee, whose country assumes the EU Presidency in January 2007, met with Cypriot Communication and Works Minister Haris Thrasou on the sidelines of the Informal Meeting of EU Transport Ministers in Bregenz, Austria.

During the meeting, Thrasou referred to Turkey's refusal to allow Cyprus-flagged ships enter its ports and to refuse permission to Cypriot aircraft to use its air space. The minister referred in particular to a recent incident when the Turkish ports authorities denied access to a Cyprus-flagged cargo ship, ''Able F'', to dock at the port port of Mersin, in southern Turkey.

The Cypriot Minister asked Germany to intervene in the direction of Turkey in order to lift this ban which, he pointed out, violates Ankara's obligations to the European Union.

Tiefensee noted that Turkey's stance is violating both European and international rules, adding that the Cypriot government can count on Germany's support in the efforts to terminate the restrictive measures applied by Turkey against Cypriot ships and aircraft.

Turkey, whose troops occupy Cyprus' northern part, does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus and refuses to apply EU regulations extending them to include Cyprus, an EU member since May 2004.

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