AKEL: The British base’s involvement in Israel’s ongoing war against the Palestinians in Gaza and the bombing in Yemen is dangerous
AKEL expresses its concern about possible retaliations in Cyprus over the role of British bases in the attacks waged on Yemen
18 January 2024, InNewspaper
Speaking to inNewspaper, AKEL C.C. Spokesperson and MP Giorgos Koukoumas points out that “the involvement of the British bases in Cyprus in Israel’s ongoing war against the Palestinians in Gaza and the ongoing bombings in Yemen objectively causes dangers for Cyprus and its people. AKEL has repeatedly asked the government to demand from the British government information and explanations and, above all, to be realise the dangers created for the country by the involvement of Cypriot territory in the dangerous scene raging in the Middle East. “
“The Cypriot government’s silence on the issue adds to the cover it has been giving to the far-right Netanyahu government since the beginning of the new war that has been launched. The Christodoulides government is probably the only government in the world that has not said a single word of criticism of the Israeli atrocities that have been and are still committed being against the Palestinian people. It hasn’t even said a word about what is hypocritically being said by Western governments.”
The British bases are a remnant of colonialism
Referring to the status of the British bases, the AKEL C.C. Spokesperson stresses that “the British bases were and remain a remnant of colonialism, an open wound in Cyprus’ body. It is well known that the Zurich-London Agreements imposed on the Cypriot people in 1959 provided for two so-called ‘”sovereign” British bases, at Akrotiri and Dhekelia, covering an area of almost 100 square miles, which are among the largest in the world.
These bases have been used repeatedly as a base for launching raids and attacks on neighbouring states. There are, of course, a number of substantive arguments from the perspective of international law that challenge Britain’s arbitrary use of the bases and the legitimacy of the bases themselves.”
The silence shown by the government
According to the AKEL MP, the silence shown by the Christodoulides government is also “problematic” since, as he underlines, “whatever the so-called “rights” that the Treaty of Establishment gives Britain regarding the bases, the political position of the Republic of Cyprus towards the use of the bases for any military purposes is of significance and weight.
I would say that it is also necessary for the Republic of Cyprus to express its position on the matter if it wants to maintain its credibility internationally – as a state under semi-occupation that is asserting respect for international law – and also with regards its relations with the states of the Middle East and the Arab world.
This is precisely why the silence shown by the Christodoulides government and its stand in general regarding the ongoing massacre of Palestinians being committed by the State of Israel is extremely problematic.
It is worth recalling that in contrast to the stand taken by the Christodoulides government and previously by the Anastasiades government in relation to the bombings carried out in Syria, in 2011, the then Demetris Christofias government had explicitly and publicly expressed its opposition to any scenarios concerning the use of the British bases for launching the aggression in Libya.”
AKEL is the only party demonstrating
Referring to the demonstrations that have been organised in Cyprus, Giorgos Koukoumas stresses that the message that is being heard in them is “No involvement, No complicity, No synergy of Cyprus in the bloody slaughter of the Palestinian people!”
Fortunately, AKEL is the only one of the political parties in Cyprus that has and is still upholding and expressing this position.
Fortunately, however, as far as Cypriot society is concerned in general, the overwhelming majority of the people is aware of the dangers and does not accept for any reason the massacres of civilians and children that are being committed in Gaza. And of course it understands that a country that is itself subject to foreign occupation and the colonization of its territories cannot pretend not to see that the same and much worse things are happening next door to it,” the AKEL C.C. Spokesperson pointed out.

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