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President: Cyprus against use of Bases for Libya operation

21. March 2011. | 09:58

Source: CNA/ANA-MPA

Cyprus opposes the use of the British Bases for military actions in the region, President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias said on Sunday, noting however that the Bases are sovereign and can be used with just a warning on behalf of Britain.

Cyprus opposes the use of the British Bases for military actions in the region, President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias said on Sunday, noting however that the Bases are sovereign and can be used with just a warning on behalf of Britain.

Replying to questions on Libya, President Christofias said that ''the EU is not unanimous'' on the issue and that ''there was much discussion at the latest extraordinary Council and we could not reach a common position.''

He added that Cyprus ''opposes the use of the British Bases for military actions in our region.''
''It is another matter if democracy should rule in Libya and other Arab countries. There is no question about that, of course we are in favour, but this again is up to the peoples, it is a right of these peoples of these countries. This is our position. We do not agree with military interventions, even of this kind,'' he added.

Asked if the British Bases were being used for the operations in Libya, President Christofias said ''not yet.''

''Unfortunately, the Bases are sovereign and can be used with just a warning on behalf of Britain. We gave Britain the message that we do not wish the Bases to be used, because we are against it,'' he added.

Asked if Cyprus would offer its services in the event it was requested by the EU, President Christofias said ''there is no unanimous EU Council position.''

''We hope no one asks for anything. Keep in mind that Cyprus is far from Libya. We are neither Malta nor Italy. So, I do not think this will be necessary,'' he added.

Britain, a former colonial power, has retained two military bases in Cyprus when it granted the country its independence in 1960.

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