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Media Watch 2003

08 June 2003
Source: Sunday Mail
Author: George Psyllides
Comment: The following article appeared in the Sunday Mail of Nicosia on 8 June 2003.
Forget Famagusta for exports, Tassos tells Turkish Cypriots

PRESIDENT Tassos Papadopoulos yesterday reiterated that using Famagusta port for exporting Turkish Cypriot products is not a negotiable option.

The matter was raised this week when the European Union announced its package of aid measures for the Turkish Cypriots.

Among them was promoting the export of Turkish Cypriot products to the EU, with the agreement of the government.

But the Turkish Cypriots are insisting that their products should be exported through the port of Famagusta, which the government will not accept.

The government has agreed that the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce can be authorised to issue movement certificates for the products, but these would then have to be exported through government-controlled ports.

Suggestions from some European circles that Famagusta port might come under the control of the United Nations or some other neutral body have prompted the government to issue stern warnings, both officially and in private, that such action would be completely unacceptable.

The latest comment came from Papadopoulos himself, who yesterday stressed that Famagusta port could not operate except under the full supervision and responsibility of the Republic of Cyprus.

“Clearly and categorically, a port does not operate except under the full responsibility and supervision of the legal government of the Republic of Cyprus,” he said.

He had been asked to comment on the views of former president Glafcos Clerides, who when he was in office discussed the possibility of Greeks and Turkish Cypriots operating the port jointly in exchange for the return of the closed area of Varosha.

Clerides repeated several days ago that since the 1960 Constitution provided for Greek and Turkish Cypriot municipalities in Famagusta, there would not be an issue of recognition if the port was operated by the local authorities."