The Republic of Cyprus and the United Kingdom signed on Friday an agreement on the basis of which London disposes of immovable property in Cyprus, in this case land it owns, which Nicosia has bought for the amount of €8.6 million.

The land falls in the area of Zygi, on the south coast of Cyprus, between Limassol and Larnaca. The Cypriot government plans to build there a port to serve industrial and energy needs.

CNA has learned that the land, stretching over 350.000 square metres approximately, was owned by the British Crown and it was registered as such with the Department of Lands of Cyprus. It was used to broadcast the BBC signal to the Middle East and on the basis of the provisions of the 1960 Treaty of Establishment of the Republic of Cyprus, the UK has the right to dispose of immovable property if it is no longer needed.

Transport Minister Marios Demetriades and Gareth Wilmot, on behalf of the Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom, signed the agreement on Friday.

“Today is an important day” Minister Demetriades told the press, noting that Cyprus has a strategic plan for its port infrastructure. He pointed out that the agreement paves the way for the implementation of a project that has been under discussion for 40 years.

The Minister said that the Government will build a port in the area that will serve industrial and energy needs, at an estimated cost of around €130 million.

“This is great for us as a Government because this piece of land will be useful. Something which is part of our long-term planning for the port infrastructure in Cyprus. We have already started the process for it. So, I think this is extremely important” he noted.

The Government paid €8.6 million to buy the land, he said, adding that the deal was completed in record time.

He thanked the UK government “for their positive attitude” and noted that “the two countries can bring positive results”.

The UK, after it granted Cyprus its independence in 1960 following a four-year liberation struggle to free the country from British colonial rule, retained two military bases and some other sites on the island, in addition to various privileges.

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