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PACE rapporteur begins meetings in Cyprus
2006-11-16 10:15:11

Limassol, Nov 13 - The problems which the inhabitants of the British Bases areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia face were reviewed on Monday by local authorities representatives and the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee Rapporteur Andreas Gross.

In statements after a meeting with the local authorities of Episkopi, Mr. Gross said that the purpose of his visit to Cyprus was to listen to the views of the people living in the affected areas, as well as the views of the British bases administration and bring both sides closer in order to start a constructive dialogue.

Mr. Gross also said his conclusions and suggestions will be submitted to the PACE Committee that will make recommendations to the governments of Cyprus and Britain.

Regarding the restrictions imposed on Greek Cypriots as regards the exploitation of their land that falls within the British Bases sovereign territory, Mr. Gross said that the British are aware of the problem and that until the end of this year they are expected to submit to the Cypriot government an overall plan for the partial lifting of these restrictions.

The rapporteur also referred to the antennas that have been installed by the British into the area, and said that health concerns are expressed by the residents, but on the other hand a survey conducted by the British does not indicate any problems arising from the antennas in the area.

He recommended that a dialogue starts between the involved parties so that they exchange views and rebuild trust between them.

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