The Republic of Cyprus has nothing to do with or is involved with Britain’s military operations against the Houthis, Government Spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis said on Tuesday, noting at the same time that the impact both on the country’s economy and internationally from the Houthi attacks is evident.
Answering questions during today’s briefing to the media, at the Presidential Palace, the Spokesman was asked about the impact on the Cypriot economy of the situation in relation to the Houthi attacks. He said that “the effects on the economy – not only in Cyprus – through the insecurity that prevails due to the Houthi attacks are evident.”
He said that on January 22, at an EU level, the issue will be discussed, with the participation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and there the issue of both security and economic consequences will be raised.
Asked if the Republic of Cyprus knew about the British strikes against the Houthis before they took place, Letymbiotis said that the Republic of Cyprus is in constant contact with the United Kingdom within the framework set by the Treaty of Establishment in relation to the use of the British Bases.
“What we must underline once again is that the Republic of Cyprus has no relationship or involvement with military operations,” he said, adding that “the communication that the Foreign Minister had with his British counterpart is also relevant.”
Asked where the issue of Cyprus’ proposal to set up a sea corridor for the provision of humanitarian aid to Gaza stands, Letymbiotis said that it is still in the diplomatic contacts that the Government has with states that expressed the desire to help.
“You understand, however”, he noted, “that the further development and completion of the initiative also depends on external factors”.
Arrest of Turkish Cypriot lawyer in Italy
Regarding the Turkish Cypriot lawyer who was arrested in Italy, Letymbiotis said that the Turkish Cypriot was in court in Rome, where he was expected to either accept his extradition to the Republic of Cyprus to proceed with the judicial proceedings or the judicial process in Rome will proceed if he challenges the issuance of the warrant. “We are waiting until the end of the day, we are in contact with the relevant Italian authorities for further information”, he said.
The Turkish Cypriot lawyer was detained following the execution of a European arrest warrant concerning the exploitation and sale of real estate in Cyprus’ Turkish-occupied areas.
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.
Asked whether the Government is examining the issue concerning the activity of Greek Cypriot businessmen and lawyers also in the occupied areas, the Spokesman said that a range of legal measures that can be applied in relation to, in particular, the usurpation of Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied areas, is something that the Government is considering.
He added that the meetings that have taken place between the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Legal Service are relevant, and the evaluation of the measures that can be taken is at a very advanced stage and in the near future some of these measures will begin to take effect.