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UK Denies Will Have Direct Flights to Occupied Cyprus Region

February 14, 2020

ATHENS – The United Kingdom’s Foreign Office rejected claims by Turkish-Cypriot self-declared Premier Ersin Tatar that direct flights could be made to the northern third of Cyprus that’s been occupied since an unlawful 1974 Turkish invasion.

Only Turkey recognizes the self-declared Republic that is otherwise isolated on the world stage while the Greek-Cypriot side is a member of the European Union that Turkey has been trying to join since 2005, while not recognizing that government barring its ships and planes.

“These reports are untrue. The UK’s position on this has not changed. Direct flights between the UK and the north of Cyprus would not be in line with the UK’s international obligations,” a Foreign Office representative said, reported Kathimerini Cyprus.

The statement comes after Tatar, speaking on Turkish Cypriot television, said the UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson – who has some Turkish heritage – had given orders to look into the possibility of launching direct flights to the Turkish-occupied north.

Ercan Airport in the north of Cyprus is not recognized by the International Civil Aviation Organisation as an international airport, and as such an Air Services Agreement cannot be negotiated with the administration there.

The UK Court of Appeal has also confirmed that direct flights between the UK and the north of Cyprus would breach the UK’s international obligations under the 1944 Chicago Convention on Civil Aviation as well.

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