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IMO informed of Turkish ban on Cypriot ships
2006-11-30 09:11:40

London, Nov 29 - Cyprus' High Commissioner to the United Kingdom George Iacovou presented his credentials as the Republic's new Permanent Representative at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), and briefed IMO Secretary General Efthymios Mitropoulos on developments regarding the ban imposed by Turkey on Cypriot ships docking at Turkish ports.

Mr. Iacovou said that Turkey's obligation to lift the ban on ships flying the Cypriot flag was an obligation towards the EU.

He also informed Mr. Mitropoulos about the Finnish EU presidency's initiative to avert a crisis in relations between the EU and Turkey, and elaborated on the status of ports in the Turkish occupied areas of the Republic.

Mr. Mitropoulos referred to the excellent relations between Cyprus and the IMO Secretariat, and praised Cyprus' efforts over the past years to qualitatively upgrade its shipping.

Cyprus, which joined the EU in May 2004, has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

Turkey, a country aspiring to become an EU member state, does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus and refuses to implement the EU-Turkey Customs Union Protocol, which provides for the opening of its ports and airports to Cyprus.

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