THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Cyprus’ attorney general says a United Nations top court ruling on Mauritius is a “legal tool” the Cypriot government could use to negotiate the status of two British military bases on the east Mediterranean island nation.
The International Court of Justice said in an advisory opinion that the U.K. illegally carved up Mauritius when it ended its colonization of the Indian Ocean islands.
Costas Clerides told private TV station Sigma the “landmark” opinion underscores that such issues must be examined under current international legal principles and not those of the past.
Britain retained two military bases on Cyprus when the country gained independence from British colonial rule in 1960. The bases are enshrined in Cyprus’ constitution.
But Clerides said this may be challenged because agreements signed under conditions that prevailed during that time were “far removed” from what could be considered as an “exercise in free will.”