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UK Foreign Office says press reports on direct flights to occupied north ‘untrue’

February 13, 2020 at 5:30pm
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The British Foreign Office has rejected as untrue reports that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given instructions for discussions to launch direct flights to Tymbou airport in the Turkish occupied north.

“These reports are untrue. The UK’s position on this has not changed. Direct flights between the UK and the north of Cyprus would not be in line with the UK’s international obligations,” the spokesman said.

The statement follows claims by Turkish Cypriot ‘prime minister’ Ersin Tatar that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had given instructions for the issue of direct flights to the occupied north to be put on the agenda, and that he would be monitoring the issue.

Tatar’s remarks were featured in Kibris Postasi where he also noted that the ‘rules of the game’ vis-a-vis Cyprus have changed. The UK, headed by Johnson who he noted was of Turkish origin, has left the EU, Tatar added.

Tymbou airport is not recognised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation as an international airport and as a result, London cannot negotiate an Air Services Agreement with the administration in the north of Cyprus, so there are no direct flights.

The UK Court of Appeal has also confirmed that direct flights between the UK and the north of Cyprus would breach the UK’s international obligations under the 1944 Chicago Convention on Civil Aviation.

The UK Government’s position has been that a comprehensive settlement is the best chance of resolving these complex issues.

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