The British government has not yet taken any decision to make use of the British Base of Akrotiri in Cyprus’ southern coast to impose a no-fly zone over Libya, according to Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou.
Stephanou, who was commenting on relevant press reports, also stated that the Cypriot and British governments are constantly in touch over the issue.
At the same time he indicated that there is no reason for concern over the possibility Gaddafi`s forces will launch missiles against the British Bases in Cyprus.
“I would like to underline that there is no decision taken by the UK regarding the use of Akrotiri Base with regard to imposing a no-fly zone over Libya” Stephanou said during a press conference at the Presidential Palace.
Replying to a question, he reiterated that the Cypriot and UK governments are constantly in touch for this issue and pointed out that both the 1960 Treaty of Establishment of the Republic of Cyprus, which provides for the status of the British Bases on the island, and the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two countries in 2008, “provide the necessary framework so that there will be mutual cooperation and exchange of information with no surprises”.
Commenting on reports over the possibility Gaddafi’s regime to attack the British Bases, Stephanou noted that the Government looked into this possibility through contacts and that there is nothing for the time being.
“There is nothing over this issue and I would not like to say more in order not to create the impression that we are a target” he added.
The Spokesman also expressed the Government’s position regarding UN Security Council’s resolution, that the international community should act on the basis of the resolution, always within the framework of international law and taking all the facts into consideration.
Britain, a former colonial power, has retained two military bases in Cyprus when it granted the country its independence in 1960.