UK Government sees settlement of Cyprus issue as best way to allow direct flights to the north

The UK sees a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus issue as the best opportunity to resolve issues currently surrounding direct flights to the Turkish occupied airport of Tymbou, according to a British Government spokesperson.

Asked to comment on a so called “prime minister” of the Turkish occupied areas Ersin Tatar’s claim that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given instructions to start discussing direct flights from London to the occupied northern part of Cyprus, a UK Government spokesperson told the Cyprus News Agency that “the Prime Minister is committed to achieving a just and lasting settlement in Cyprus.”

“Reuniting Cyprus would unlock significant economic benefits through increased opportunities for trade, investment and tourism. A comprehensive settlement is also the best opportunity to resolve the complex issues that currently exist around Ercan airport, the official added.

Number 10 sources note that Prime Minister Johnson has had no official contact with Ersin Tatar.

Officials in London also point to a recent interview by the British High Commissioner to Cyprus in which he stated that “the obstacle to direct flights is that Ercan airport does not meet the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation and is not a signatory of the Montreal Convention. That wont change with the UKs departure from the EU.

The British High Commission in Nicosia also released a statement attributed to a Foreign Office Spokesperson earlier today in which it is noted that reports that Johnson has given instructions to start discusing direct flights from London to the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus “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 statement reads.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

Source: Cyprus News Agency