LIMASSOL, Cyprus – If Turkey wants to boost its political and economic standing it should remove an embargo on Cyriot vessels, the Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) Esben Poulsson said.
While visiting the island he said Turkey has to understand the ramifications of its long-standing policy of refusing to recognize Cyprus while barring its ships and planes, especially with talks going on in an attempt to reunify the island divided by an unlawful 1974 Turkish invasion.
“I believe it would have a very positive effect on shipping. Trade would increase. It is a long-standing problem and I would think from every point of view, pragmatic, political, business, it would be positive. I hope this happens for Cyprus. I think if south and north Vietnam became one country I don`t see why not Cyprus”, he said, according to the Cyprus News Agency.
Poulsson addressed a meeting in Limassol organised by the Cyprus Shipping Chamber for its members, where he praised the contribution of Cyprus to international maritime affairs, CNA added.
He also said the Cypriot shipping industry has better communication and co-operation than in most member countries of the organization.
At the same time he praised the relation between the public and the private sector in the shipping industry of Cyprus, saying that cooperation and communication in Cyprus was better than in most ICS member countries.
“Here it reminds me a little bit of Singapore because we enjoy a very co-essential working relationship with our authorities. My impression of Cyprus is that here it maybe be a little more political than we are in Singapore, but nonetheless I think the government here is quite pro-business and quite pro-shipping at it should be, because shipping is 7.5 per cent of GDP, which is a lot” he said.
Referring to his meeting with the Minister of Transport Marios Demetriades, he said Turkey needs to recognize its policy is working against its hopes of joining the European Union, to which Cyprus belongs.
“The only way this will work is if the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) implements regulations that we can live with and that are enforced and we all have to live by the same rules. It`s the same like playing football, there is no different rule of the game when you play in China or Germany. There is one rule, period and that should apply to shipping,” he added.